Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Spiced Chocolate Brownies with Chocolate Whipped Cream

In case you were wondering where winter went this year, it has finally showed it's face. In true white fluffy fashion, the flakes are falling and it's about that time. You know, time to lay down on the couch in your snuggie (yes, snuggies are awesome, still trending in my apartment anyways), and fill your belly with something warm & comforting, perhaps while watching the latest Twilight film on DVR? No? Ok, Harry Potter?
Anyways, for some reason this past weekend as the snow fell, a regular brownie just wouldn't satiate my appetite for something warm & chocolate-y. For an added kick, I splashed the batter with some cayenne pepper. This addition, plus some sour cream for balance & overall gooey goodness, brings just enough warmth to the palate to keep you coming back for more, while keeping you perfectly pleased as Edward & Jacob battle it out for Bella.... And the recipe couldn't be easier! You don't even need to melt any chocolate! Three days after they were baked, I enveloped the leftovers in cling wrap and brought them to work- just as moist as they were on day 1. Now you know you have to try these....

Spiced Chocolate Brownies with Chocolate Whipped Cream

1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
2 tbsp sour cream

In a microwaveable bowl, melt the butter until just melted. Do not boil or splatter! Let cool, and preheat oven to 350, and grease your 9inch brownie pan. Then, add the sugar to the butter and mix until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, along with the vanilla extract. Whisk until incorporated and smooth. Finally, add your flour, cocoa powder, cayenne pepper, and sour cream. Mix until the batter is fully formed, but no further! Do not overmix! Pour into brownie pan and bake 20-25 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean. (I like mine on the gooey side, so I pull mine out right before it firms up, and only a little batter gets stuck to the toothpick).

Chocolate whipped cream

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
3-4 tbsp confectioner's sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, add the whipping cream and using an electric hand mixer (or whisk if you have the arm muscle, and patience!), begin to whip. When the cream begins to firm (about 2-3 minutes), add the sugar, cocoa powder, and vanilla extract. Whip up until firm peaks have formed, or you reach the desired consistency you prefer. For sweeter frosting, add more sugar, and cocoa powder for a deeper chocolate flavor. Serve as the brownies are still luke warm. I like mine warm, but be careful, the frosting will melt!

Happy wintery eats!

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