Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Surprisingly popular!

This weekend's baking adventure was a foray into the "hot" chocolate brownie. "Hot" is in quotes because that's what they are - not in temperature, but in flavor. This particular batch was seasoned with cinnamon & a bit of cayenne pepper, to give them just a bit of a kick, with semi-sweet chocolate chips mixed in for a bit of texture. The inspiration for this combo came from the "Mexican" form of the hot chocolate beverage. I usually add cinnamon, sea salt, and a touch of cayenne to my hot chocolate that I make at home, so I thought I'd give it a try in brownie form. Though I wasn't all that fond of the final product, everyone else seemed to like them, and I even got a request for the recipe from the staff of a friend who brought them to work. (Bribery with baked goods can work wonders!)

So here's a rough version of the recipe for those that have asked. (For those that know my baking style, I'm liberal with the spices and not terribly precise with my measurements of said spices...)

1 box Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate brownie mix, prepared as on box (2 eggs, 1/2 cup oil, 1/4 water)
2 tsps good cinnamon
1/2-1 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp double-strength vanilla (or 1 tsp regular vanilla)
3/4 cup semi-sweet chips

Grease 9x13 pan & preheat oven to 325/350 depending on type of pan. (See box instructions)

Prepare brownie mix as on box. Mix in remaining ingredients. Bake for 30 minutes or until wooden pick comes out with moist crumbs. Cool in pan before cutting.  (Yields 24 brownies)

Yes, for those of you who are new readers of this blog, I do routinely use a box mix for my brownies, though I am specific about using the one listed above. The additions of sea salt and extra vanilla really boost the flavor and the chewiness of the brownies. (The salt and alcohol change the chemistry just enough that the brownies are baked through, but still slightly underdone. Science!)

I use the DHDC mix almost exclusively for large batch brownies. If I'm only making an 8x8 pan, I tend to go scratch & use the base brownie batter section of this recipe from

So, for those of you that asked for it, there's the recipe. Happy baking!

Note to self: This recipe will yield brownies that others will love & I will not eat... From now on known as my personal "diet" brownies....