Apparently, yesterday was the hottest day of the YEAR so far for Vancouver, reaching a high of 25 degrees C at the airport. It’s about bloody time! It finally feels like summer.
The Husband and I had a busy weekend. It was one of those weekends where we were constantly on the move and didn’t feel rested to face another work week. I got home last night, feeling strangely exhausted, and decided to bake to re-energize.
I drew inspiration from this awesome video on chow.com (you’re doing it all wrong – how to made badass brownies with Kir Jensen). I just can’t get those moist, fudgey brownies out of my mind and her tips are spot on. Baking them in a muffin tin instead of a square pan to ensure crispy tops & edges and the perfect chewy interior? Brilliant!
I’ve been following the Baking Bites blog for years now and Nicole’s recipes never steer me wrong. I made her Mexican Chocolate Brownies a few weeks ago but was unhappy with the result (if you thought that would’ve stopped me from eating the entire pan by myself…you thought wrong!). The reason I was unhappy was because I did all the things that Kir Jensen warned against in her video. Redemption time – I tried the brownies again using some of her tips and the result was magic!
Spicy Mexican Brownies (adapted from Baking Bites)
1/2 cup butter
4-oz bittersweet or dark chocolate, chopped
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs (room temperature)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup chocolate chips (pref. semisweet or bittersweet)
My measurements above reflect extra cayenne and chili powder because I like the brownie really spicy. If that’s not to your taste, use the original measurements in Baking Bite’s recipe – the flavour is still there but not as pronounced as it is in my final product.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Line a muffin tin with paper cups or lightly grease.
In a small, heatproof bowl, melt butter and chocolate together. This I did by placing my bowl over a pot of simmering water.
Stir with a fork or spatula until very smooth. Stir in cocoa powder until fully incorporated. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs and vanilla extract. Whisking steadily, pour chocolate mixture into sugar mixture. Stir until smooth.
Sift flour, ground cinnamon, cayenne pepper, chili powder and salt into the bowl and stir until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips (sadly, I didn’t have any bittersweet chocolate chips in my pantry so I used about half a cup of milk chocolate chips).
Scoop batter into muffin tin. Bake for about 15 minutes (depending on your preference for the texture of the brownie). Since I was paranoid about over-baking the brownies, I was constantly checking after the 10 minute mark. I pulled the brownies out, testing them first by touch as Kir did in the chow.com video. A chopstick inserted into a brownie came out with some moist crumbs and I knew they were done.
I left the brownies in the tin for about 5 minutes then placed them on a cookie rack to cool.
Whew, these are spicy! It was already smoking hot in my kitchen from the oven and I was beet red from a glass of wine I’d just downed like water when I tasted the first brownie. Sweat was pouring down my face as I was eating it but I certainly didn’t care that I looked like a deranged slob. Even the look the Husband gave me from the couch when he looked back to see what the heck I was doing didn’t deter me.
The brownie is amazing. The key is taking them out of the oven at the right time. They were perfectly crisp and crackly on top, super moist inside, and the spice, while discombobulating when you first taste it, merges effortlessly with the chocolate. These are even better the next day, after the flavours have had time to intensify and meld together.