Dark Chocolate and Cayenne Brownies
With left-over easter chocolate in the pantry, and a hubby complaining that I never bake anything that he eats, I hit the kitchen on a mission to create the best chocolate brownies possible. Not too cakey, not too fudgy, not too sweet and most definitely no add-ins! When baking for hubby it's strictly no fruit, no nuts, not even additional chocolate chunks! I know... But despite the limitations, I think I may have done it! A simple, but great brownie, and it wouldn't have been possible without the help of my new favourite thing, The Bircher Bars Cayenne 5 Spice Cacao Blend. The cayenne pepper in this cacao blend has lent these brownies the perfect amount of heat, not enough to taste like chilli, but just enough to leave a beautifully warm feeling behind... like drinking hot chocolate!
MY TIPS FOR MASTERING THIS BAKE
#1 The double boiler is easily the most complicated part of this recipe. A double boiler is a setup where you set your mixing bowl atop a saucepan of roughly 2 inches of boiling water to allow the steam to gently heat up and melt your ingredients together. For this reason, a glass or metal mixing bowl is required, a silicone or plastic mixing bowl just won't allow for the heat transfer required for a double boiler to work.
#2 Don't stress if your sugar and butter don't seamlessly blend together, sugar cannot melt in butter, only water, so the water content of your butter will dictate whether or not your sugar and butter will come together nicely. Don't fret if they don't, they'll blend together and go smooth and glossy as soon as you add your eggs, but if it bugs you, you can add 1tbsp water to your butter and sugar mix to give it a helping hand.
#3 To ensure that your eggs are mixed through your batter evenly, whisk them lightly with a fork before adding them to the batter! This way, you won't end up with streaks of egg white through your batter and avoid eggy chunks in your finished product.
#4 Like your brownies a little more on the cakey side? Add 1/4 tsp of baking powder to the batter at step 5 to achieve a little more lift and a 'cakier' texture.
#5 The baking time for these is a little lenient, but I recommend 17 minutes to get brownies the same consistency as the ones pictured, however, if you like them SUPER gooey, keep a close eye on their progress from the 15-minute mark, utilizing the skewer test method to ensure they come out just how you like them!
#6 Because these brownies include melted dark chocolate, if kept in the fridge they will go a little solid. For this reason, it's best to warm them up slightly before serving.
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