Friday, March 19, 2010

Triple chocolate brownie with chile and fleur de sel

This is one of the first test brownies to come out of my kitchen.

It is a very dense, rich and moist brownie. It has unsweetened chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate bits and dutch processed cocoa powder. In order to give the brownie a more complex flavor I added cinnamon and cayenne pepper. The cinnamon gives it a bit of depth and the cayenne pepper adds a back note of heat that enhances the chocolate flavor.

The fleur de sel was sprinkled on the brownie immediately upon taking it out of the oven. The salt balances the sweetness of the chocolates. This is a brownie which you will need to hide from yourself because you can't eat just one!. A cold glass of milk, a hot cup of tea or a glass of wine rounds out the experience.

Chile triple chocolate brownie with fleur de sel
 makes 16 large brownies
5 oz semi-sweet chocolate (you can use chips)
2 oz unsweetened chocolate
3 tbls dutch processed cocoa powder
8 tbls unsalted butter cut into pieces
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cup of sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line an 8X8 pan with either parchement paper or aluminum foil leaving an inch over the top for easy removal of brownies.

Melt both chocolates and butter in a heat proof bowl over a pot of simmering water.    Stir as the butter melts to incorporate all the chocolate.  Sift the cocoa powder, cinnamon and cayenne pepper into the melted chocolate and stir (the sifting will prevent the cocoa from clumping)  Remove from heat and allow to cool.

In another bowl combine the eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt with a whisk.  I vigorously whisk for a minute until the eggs are fully combined and light and fluffy.   Add the chocolate mixture (make sure that it is not hot or the egg mixture will curdle) and whisk until combined.   I sift the flour right into the bowl and then gently fold.  
Pour into prepared pan, put into the center rack in the oven and bake for 16 minutes.  Remove from oven and sprinkle fleur de sel on the top of the brownie.  Return to the oven for an additional 15 minutes.   (as I do with all my recipes - I under bake slightly because they continue to cook as they cool).  Place on a rack and allow to cool for at least an hour.  

Remove brownie from the pan and cut into 16 squares.  

Serve with Vanilla ice cream, hot fudge sauce or raspberry sauce.

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