Tuesday, August 10, 2010

2 kinds of Brownies...with "secret" ingredients

Brownies have always topped my sweets list.  I don't know where it all started.  It could be that when my brother and sisters and I were young, we could make the brownies ourselves.  Maybe it's the gooey, chocolaty goodness controlling my hypothalamus.  Maybe it's just that they're so stinkin' tasty.  I've always preferred fudgy brownies to cakey brownies...un-iced to iced.  But I won't refuse a homemade brownie just because it is puffy and cakey...or because it has icing on it.  I believe that would just invite some negative karma.  I like to take them out when they're still a bit underdone. I like to eat them hot with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top...melting into rich oblivion.  And I'm always up for trying a new version.  Here's the latest two versions.  Which one do you think you'd choose? 
secret ingredient=chile powder

Chocolate Chile Brownies
from Deb in the Rick Bayless test kitchen

1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces plus extra for the pan.
5 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
2 Tbs. pasilla negro chile powder*
3 Tbs. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the rack in the middle position. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Line the pan with 2 pieces of parchment paper, leaving an overhang on all four sides to create a sling. Butter the parchment. Set aside.

In medium heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, melt the butter, and both the chopped semisweet and unsweetened chocolates, stirring occasionally until smooth. Let cool slightly.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, chile powder, cocoa and salt.

In another medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, both sugars and vanilla in a medium bowl until combined. Whisk in the warm chocolate mixture. Then switch to a rubber spatula to stir in the flour mixture and chocolate chips. Mix until just combined. Pour mixture into prepared pan and spread into corners. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a small amount of sticky crumbs clinging to it, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack. Lift the brownies out of the pan using the parchment paper overhangs and transfer to a cutting board to slice.

*Stem and seed 3 pasilla chiles. Lay them on an ungreased baking sheet in a preheated 375 degrees F oven for 4 minutes or until toasted and dry. Let cool and then grind in spice grinder. You should have about 2 1/2 Tbs. of pure chile powder. 


secret ingredient=shredded zucchini

Chocolate Zucchini Brownies 
adapted from Simply in Season

1 c. unbleached AP flour
3/4 c. whole wheat flour
1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp.sea salt
2 1/2 c. shredded zucchini (rung dry)
1 egg
3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. plain yogurt
1/2 c. coconut oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a 9x13 pan.  Combine first 4 ingredients in large bowl.  Toss in zucchini to coat.  Combine remaining ingredients, except for chocolate chips, in separate bowl then combine all.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Pour batter into prepared pan and bake ~40 mins.

So...our favorite of the "secret" ingredient brownies.  I bet you can guess.  Yup.... CHILES!!!! Although, I'd think maybe I'd even up the amount by at least a 1/2 tsp. next time...it's so subtle that it just leaves you wondering what was different about these particular brownies.


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