It is a universal truth that enterprising cooks just can’t leave well enough alone. Even the most tried and true recipes beg to be tampered with, each cook putting their own personal stamp on greatness. In my opinion, this is true cooking. Getting away from recipes and testing the waters in your own kitchen.
If only people knew how easy it is to make brownies from scratch. This recipe, which I adapted from the Joy of Cooking, has been in every single printing of Joy since 1931. It’s a classic. And for good reason. It’s dense, perfectly sweet and, compared to other brownies, almost elegant in it’s simplicity. That said…I just couldn’t resist. Though I loved the fudgey goodness, to me it has always tasted just a bit flat. I think even sweetest of treats need a bit of salt (not to make them taste salty, but to further enhance their own true taste. In this instance, chocolate). I’ve also been in love with Mexican hot chocolate ever since I stopped into Jacques Torres’ Dumbo outpost, so I added some cocoa powder and cinnamon to kick it up a bit. The result? See for yourselves.
Note that I don’t use any nuts in my brownies. Frankly, by the time they’re done and cooled, I’m pretty much a woman on the verge and I want nothing standing between me and my chocolate fix.
Fudgey Brownies (Adapted from the Joy of Cooking)
4 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped coarsely
1 stick unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
3 tbsp cocoa powder
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
In a medium sized bowl, mix together flour, cocoa, cinnamon and salt. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9×13 glass baking dish with foil, leaving about 2 inches sticking out on either end. Lightly grease foil and sides of pan with Canola oil. In a heavy pot, melt chocolate and butter over low heat, stirring constantly. Set aside to cool, about 10 minutes. Add sugar, vanilla, stir to combine. Add eggs, one at a time, stirring to incorporate. Add flour mixture and stir until just combined (do not overmix!). Pour batter into prepared pan, place on a rack in the center of the oven. Bake about 25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan on a baking rack. When cool, lift brownies out of pan using the overhanging aluminum foil. Invert onto a clean cutting board and gently peel foil off brownies. Cut into bars and serve.