|by Carol Peterman||Print-friendly page|
Brownies are personal. Everyone seems to have their favorite kind, and it is supremely disappointing to anticipate fudgy and get cakey. I have made countless brownie recipes and always return to this one. I have fiddled with the proportions, ingredients, and flavorings for years, but for the last few years I haven't changed a thing which makes me think I have finally hit upon my perfect brownie. It is fudgy and chocolaty without being too sweet. The subtle hints of cinnamon and ancho chili powder add a bit of flavor mystery that just dances on the palate without overshadowing the pure pleasure of eating a chocolate brownie.
Update: This recipe has evolved once again. My new favorite method is to decrease the butter by 1 1/2 Tbsp. and replace it with vegetable oil. The texture is slightly chewier and the top bakes up papery-crisp with this adjustment.
Makes 16 brownies
3 1/4 ounces unsalted butter (6 1/2 Tbsp.)
1 1/2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1/3 cup flour
¼ tsp. ancho chili powder
¼ tsp. espresso powder
1/8 tsp. cinnamon (cassia or true cinnamon)
1/8 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
½ tsp. vanilla
Pre-heat oven to 350°F and either line with parchment paper or butter an 8"x8" baking dish.
In a medium sauce pan, over low heat, melt together the butter,, oil, unsweetened chocolate, and cocoa powder, then set aside to cool while mixing the other ingredients.
In a small bowl combine the flour, ancho chili powder, espresso powder, cinnamon, and salt. Stir to combine and set aside.
Once the chocolate mixture has had a few minutes to cool, mix in the sugar and stir to combine. Add the eggs and vanilla and stir until well mixed. Add the dry ingredients all at once and stir just a few times to combine. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake for 25 minutes. Cool before cutting.