eli5: How is it possible that Greek yogurt can transform into the consistency of a chocolate brownie, with the addition of baking powder and heat?


So this has been puzzling me for a week. I recently saw a recipe online for a microwave protein brownie that seemingly had some very odd ingredients. I had all these ingredients so decided to try it, and was super surprised when I created a product that was otherwise indistinguishable from a normal brownie.

For clarity the recipe combines the following: Greek yogurt, cocoa powder, honey, baking powder, and protein powder. This is all mixed together into a wet mix and then microwaved for roughly a minute. What is confusing to me is that I don’t understand how this combination of ingredients turn into a cake like structure. My presumption is that it’s a weird interaction between the greek yogurt and the baking powder (otherwise why not just use normal yogurt), but how that results in cake like fluffiness I’m not sure. The heat makes it rises and bubble a lot, but I’m genuinely curious as to the reaction that’s happening here. I’m just so puzzled about the textural/ consistency change.

Edit: a lot of people are curious about the recipe so here it is. https://theproteinchef.co/the-best-microwave-protein-brownie-recipe/

In: 637

Post a link to the video?

A lot of these videos are faked to get clicks. That doesn’t sound possible to me. You’d need to add flour for it to work.

Protein powder – with heat the protein chains become denatured and hard (think what happens when you overcook chicken breast). Yogurt is just a solvent for the powder ingredients.

Yogurt has proteins and moisture, like an egg. Greek yogurt is yogurt but has less moisture and more solids than regular yogurt. It’s can even be used as an egg substitute in some other recipes. Proteins can make the entirety or most of a dish… more on that later.

Honey for sweetness and some flavor.
Cocoa powder for both flavor and a little bit of structure.
Baking powder for lift.
Protein powder for flavoring and well… protein.

So combine lift, sugar, flavor, some structure and protein for structure… brownie-ish.

There are similar recipes for Tortes which contain zero flour, but eggs, cocoa powder, etc. A soufflé is mostly eggs with only a little bit of flour. This seems like it’s a similar setup.

I’m also curious to try this though if you still have a link.

The baking powder evolves carbon dioxide when wet, which is why the mix goes fluffy. The heat and chemical changes in the mix cause the yogurt and protein powder proteins (casein and whey) to bind and tangle, forming a structure that can trap the carbon dioxide and not collapse. Acids are often used to set (curdle) milk proteins for cheese-making.

For breads and cakes, the protein is gluten from the flour.