Everyone loves a good chocolate brownie but these Spicy Brownies from the Baked Elements Cookbook take it to a whole other level! The spice in these brownies comes from a trifecta of ancho chile powder (I opted for cayenne powder = more of a kick), cinnamon and ginger. Each spice brings its own special heat and the combination with the rich, dense chocolate brownie creates an adult brownie dream. I choose cayenne because ancho chile powder has a much milder, more of a smokey flavor than actual heat and I like to dial up the pow factor when using a sweet, rich batter like brownies. The cayenne really hit the spot, not too spicy but just a bit of a kick at the end. However, if you want a much milder heat go with the ancho chile powder. I used already ground cinnamon because that's what I had on hand but for the ginger I used some Gourmet Garden Ginger. This ginger is found in the herb and salad section of the grocery store and is a convenient squeeze tube of ginger that tastes just like you made freshly grated without the mess and the sometimes stringy pieces that can accompany freshly grated.
This ginger also incorporated well into the batter, distributing evenly throughout the brownie. When preparing the eggs for the recipe I lightly beat them together then strained them thru a sieve to make sure there were no stringy chalazae pieces. Because the batter is mixed by hand sometimes the eggs are not completely dissolved into the brownie but this method alleviates the problem creating a silky smooth batter. The rich, dense deep chocolate and spicy flavor of these moist brownies really rounds out and becomes better the day after they are baked... if you can wait that long! Here is how you can make your own.
You can find the entire recipe here. Line a 9" x13" baking pan with parchment and spray with Pam. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, sifted cocoa powder (I always sift cocoa powder to remove any lumps), chile powder (I used 1/4 tsp. cayenne powder instead), cinnamon, salt and ginger. Set aside. In a small bowl whisk together the granulated sugar and brown sugar until combined. Set aside.
Place the chopped chocolate and cubed butter into the bowl of a double boiler and stir occasionally until the butter and chocolate are smooth and melted. Turn off heat and whisk the sugars into the chocolate. Let mixture cool to room temperature before adding eggs.
When mixture is room temperature, gently whisk in approximately 3 of the eggs into the chocolate mixture until just combined. Whisk in the remaining eggs until just combined. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate and fold together using a spatula until there are just trace amounts of flour visible.
Do not over mix or brownies will be more cakey than dense and moist. Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula. Bake for 30 minutes, rotating pan half way thru baking time. Bake until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.
Mine baked for 35 minutes. Do not over bake brownies, better to error on the undone side. Transfer pan to wire rack and let brownies cool completely before cutting, overnight is best. I cut large squares: 4 across and 3 down. These are fabulous served with a large glass of ice cold milk.