Friday, November 22, 2013

Spicy Brownies

Brownies are special. They are special because they can modified in a million different ways and none of them are disappointing. In fact they put a rumbly in the tumbly just looking at them. There are brownies with cheesecake, caramel, oreo cookies, nuts, marshmallow...the list goes on and on. The most important thing for me, or I should say, one of the things I like the most on any kind of brownie is a crackly top! And...I love crunchy tops with chewy soft centers. This brownie had both.

This recipe from the Baked boys attracted me because it said 'spicy' which means some form of chile powder. My interest was piqued and I just had to try it out.

I thought these were delicious. The heat, provided by some ancho chile, kicks in some time after you have eaten the first bite. It is indeed subtle and perfectly balanced. The chocolate and spice are complete complements to one another. My roommate couldn't sense the heat (defective palate) but it was clear to me and I loved it. It's not the first time I have baked a chocolate and spice recipe. I did a Mexican Hot Chocolate cookie recipe in 2012 for a Humane Society event, that I just loved as well.

For whatever reason, these brownies, which keep well, tasted better to me a few days later than on the day I made them.


1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder (like Valrhona)
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
2 teaspoons freshly grated cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
9 ounces good-quality dark chocolate (60 -72%), coarsely chopped
2 ounces good-quality mile chocolate, coarsely chopped
8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch glass or light-colored metal baking pan. Line the pan with parchment paper and butter the parchment.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, chile powder, cinnamon, salt, and ginger, and set aside.

Place the chopped chocolates and the butter in the bowl of a double boiler over medium heat and stir occasionally until they are completely melted and combined. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water of the double boiler. Add both sugars and whisk until completely combined. Remove the bowl from the water and let the mixture come to room temperature.

Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until just combined. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.

Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate. Using a spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until there is just a trace amount of the flour mixture visible.

Bake the brownies for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the pan comes out with a few moist crumbs. Remove the brownies from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before cutting and serving.

The brownies can be stored at room temperature, tightly covered, for up to 4 days.


Source: Baked Elements