It usually takes about 30 minutes and a preheated oven at 350, but apparently a car left in the sun in 100+ heat will do the trick as well!
After a viewer tweeted me a link about baking cookies in a hot car, I was curious to see just how far you could go with baking in a hot car. The thing about cookies is that there's a lot of surface area exposed to the air, so they should cook much more quickly. But I figured, with the sun as high as it is this time of year and with the hottest day so far this year in the forecast, why not see if we can take baking one step further.
Who doesn't enjoy a nice, chocolate-y brownie? So yesterday came the test run. I got home around 1 p.m. with my first task of finding a brownie recipe that had no dairy and no eggs. After all, I wanted to enjoy the fruits of my labor without running the possibility of food borne illness.
After that, it was time to head to the kitchen, where luckily I had all ingredients on hand. I quickly assembled the brownie mix, got it into a baking dish and set it on the dashboard of the car.
That was around 2 p.m. Turns out, that three hours in a hot car parked on the sun will get you close, but not completely cook your brownies. The recipe called for 30-35 minutes in a 350 degree oven. By 5, my husband wanted chocolate, so it went into the oven. At this point, it only needed 10 minutes at 350 before testing done. They were quite tasty and luckily, I made a second batch to test the next day.
The second time around was an all-day event. I woke up early, around 7 a.m. I pulled the extra batter I had prepared the night before out of the fridge and let it sit until it reached room temperature. Then the batch went into the baking dish and into the car, which by 9 a.m. was already warm, but not hot. When I had to head to work at 2 p.m., the top was definitely starting to solidify and the baking process was interrupted by my driving to work and turning on the a/c (for good reason, it turns out).
When I arrived at the station, I grabbed a thermometer and stuck it in the front passenger seat. When I came back 20 minutes later, it read over 140 degrees. Can't tell you exactly how hot it was, since that thermometer only goes to 140, but it was quite warm.
Anyway, I pulled them out just before the 6 p.m. newscast, and they were cooked! They didn't taste half bad, either!
In case you're curious, here's the recipe I used:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine ingredients in large mixing bowl and pour into greased baking dish. ( I used an 11 x 7). Either place on dashboard of car in direct sunlight for 6 hours or you can put in preheated oven at 350 for 30 minutes).