Close to Christmas, I went to a friend's house to have some tea and she served the most amazing brownies. Perfectly chewy but fudgy in the middle, with a teeny bit of spicy heat, they were amazing.
So of course I begged for the recipe and she, being the most wonderful friend in the world, complied.
Now I made a few changes of course, and you may want to try them, or keep the recipe as is. We're lucky to have access to Denman Island Mole Chocolate, which is amazing in these brownies, with a little smoky heat at the end but so very subtly and certainly not too spicy. In fact, if you aren't looking for it you might miss the slightly spicy after taste. If you have Denman Island Mole Chocolate available, I say you should try it. If you don't, follow the recipe as is with the cayenne pepper. I also used some cocoa from the Vanilla Food company, which was just amazing in this recipe. So dark and rich, I'm spoiled for any other cocoa again.
At any rate I dare you to eat just one. I doubt you'll be able to!
Adapted from In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite by Melissa Clark
1 cup plus 2 tbsp unsalted butter
3 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped (or 2 Denman Island Chocolate Mole bars)
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tbsp vanilla extract (I used Madagascar vanilla from The Vanilla Food Company)
Maldon salt, for sprinkling (I omitted)
Pre-heat your oven to 350 F, and then line a 9x13 inch pan with parchment paper
In a medium sized saucepan over low heat or in a double boiler, melt the butter and chopped chocolate together, stirring, until smooth. Take off the heat and allow to cool slightly.
While your chocolate is getting all melty and fabulous, whisk the flour, salt, and cayenne in a bowl and set aside.
Measure out the sugar and cocoa into a large bowl and dump the melted chocolate mixture right on top, whisking it up until it's well combined. Gently whisk in the eggs and vanilla, stirring it well until it's all thick and glossy.
Stir in the flour mixture gently. You don't want to overmix it. Sprinkle with Maldon salt flakes (or you could just do without) Spread the batter into your lined 9x13 inch pan, smoothing the top so it's all even.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before cutting into squares.
Makes 24 (2 inch) brownies