Friday, April 5, 2013

Classic Brownies Double Tapped and Chili Twisted

I happen to love the depth that coffee gives to chocolate dishes. Lock N Load’s Double Tap is perfectly suited for complimenting chocolate. Plus I “double tapped” these brownies with two chili powders, one of them being my favorite, Aleppo chili. It’s a nice warming spice with a bit of kick. And hey, I’m obsessed enough with the Aleppo that I have a powder horn devoted to it. I may just have to have my dear friend Pat make me one for some Lock N Load DoubleTap!

Classic Brownies Double Tapped and Chili Twisted
by Diana Horst
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated via Smitten Kitchen with a Double Tap Chili Twist from the Aleppo obsessed me.

Be sure to test for doneness before removing the brownies from the oven. If underbaked (the toothpick has batter clinging to it), the texture of the brownies will be dense and gummy. If overbaked (the toothpick comes out completely clean), the brownies will be dry and cakey.

1 cup (4 ounces) pecans or walnuts, chopped medium (optional)
1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) cake flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 Tablespoon Lock-n-Load Java Double Tap Special Reserve coffee
2 Tablespoons Aleppo chili powder
1 Tablespoon chipotle chili powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 Tablespoons hot water
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
12 Tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into six 1-inch pieces
2 1/4 cups (15 3/4 ounces) sugar
4 large eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

Adjust the oven rack to the middle; heat the oven to 325 degrees. Cut an 18-inch long piece of foil and fold lengthwise to 8-inch width. Fit the foil into the length of a 13 by 9-inch baking dish, pushing it into the corners and up the sides of the pan; allow the excess to overhand the pan edges. Cut an 14-inch long piece of foil and, if using extra-wide foil, fold lengthwise to 12-inch width; fit into the width of the baking pan in the same manner, perpendicular to the first sheet. Spray the foil-lined pan with nonstick cooking spray.

If using nuts, spread the nuts evenly on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven until fragrant, 5 to 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. Whisk and set aside.

Make a paste out of the coffee, chili powders, cinnamon and water.

In a large heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of almost-simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally, until smooth. (Alternatively, place the butter and chocolate in a large microwave-safe bowl, and heat in a microwave, on high, for 45 seconds, then stir and heat for 30 seconds more. Stir again, and, if necessary, repeat in 15-second increments; do not let the chocolate burn). When the chocolate mixture is completely smooth, remove the bowl from the saucepan and gradually whisk in the sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking after each addition until thoroughly combined. Add the coffee/chili paste. Whisk in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture in three additions, folding with a rubber spatula until the batter is completely smooth and homogeneous.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Using a spatula, spread the batter into the corners of the pan and smooth the surface. Sprinkle the toasted nuts (if using) evenly over the batter and bake until a toothpick or a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours, then remove the brownies from the pan by lifting the foil overhang. Cut the brownies into 2-inch squares and serve. (Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature, for up to 3 days, or, ahem, in the freezer until your resistance gets the better of you).

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