Friday, September 22, 2006

Curried Chocolate Brownies (SHF23)

curried choc brownie 3


It’s Sugar High Friday, the monthly blogging sweet tooth event. When the lovely hostess and veggie evangelist Alanna revealed the theme "Surprise Inside" I knew I wanted to participate by using an ingredient in a surprising way. I began with an idea for adding ground ancho chili and cayenne pepper to a classic chocolate brownie recipe. The addition of cocoa and cinnamon along with the ground peppers would give it that Mexican twist. But I wanted to take my idea a bit further. So I went eastward and my curried chocolate brownie was born!

Combining curry powder with chocolate is an exotic idea, at least to me. Among some boutique chocolatiers, the trend is to use chocolate with ingredients like kalamata olives, sun dried tomatoes, or wasabi. I haven’t tried any of these chocolates yet, but it would be fun to taste them at least once.

So how did my curried chocolate brownie turn out? Surprisingly good (no pun intended, well, maybe a little). Overall, the brownie was well received. Most tasters didn’t realize it was curry powder until I told them. They just assumed the spiciness came from pumpkin pie spices like cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. They were partially correct. I used Penzeys Spices’ sweet curry powder which, according to label, contains turmeric, coriander, cumin, fenugreek, ginger, nutmeg, fennel, cinnamon, black & white pepper, cardamom, cloves, cayenne. Some people with more "seasoned" palates could detect the coriander and cumin.

I can’t say this brownie is for everyone. Some people didn’t even want to taste it because the idea was just too strange for them. And as adventurous as I am when it comes to food, I hate to admit that I didn’t really like it. It just wasn’t something I’d eat again. I mean, I thought the curry spices complemented the semisweet chocolate very well and the brownie had a nice texture and flavor. The curry powder was definitely unmistakable, but it wasn’t so dominant that it overwhelmed the chocolate. The extra cinnamon and ginger rounded out the heat of the curry powder and the orange zest provided a fruitiness that added some depth. Even though I didn’t like my own brownie creation, many people really enjoyed it. So I guess this recipe is a keeper.

curried choc brownie 1

Curried Chocolate Brownies

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp sweet curry powder
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp orange zest
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter an 8 inch square baking pan. Line the bottom with parchment and butter parchment; set pan aside.

Sift together flour, cocoa, curry powder, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Set aside dry ingredients.

In a medium bowl set over a pot of simmering water, melt butter and chocolate together stirring until smooth. Remove from bowl from heat, and mix in sugar and orange zest. Then mix in eggs and vanilla.Add dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated.

Pour the batter into your prepared pan and smooth the batter. Bake until tester comes out with moist crumbs, approximately 30 minutes. Let cool completely before serving.

curried choc brownie 2

31 comments:

J said...

hi mary, what clever use of curry powder - you've definitely got me thinking...

Anonymous said...

ah, too bad you didn't like them too much!
it's indeed a very surprising brownie (!)
I love your twist to them, good entry... =)

noƩmie said...

these spicy brownies seem good. Sometime when we create recipes we're not that satisfied since we have a specific taste in mind and at the end it isn't what we wished. But they do look delicious...maybe with some nuts, just to have sthg crunchy!

Ellie said...

I saw the title of this post and I swear that you could see the big question mark above my head - this is a combination that would never have crossed my mind! I love how you decided to utilize curry powder in a sweet, and also gave the catagory of 'spice+chocolate' a new entry - bravo! :)

clarice said...

You know at first I thought humm curry. But then when I read all the all the spices in curry I use most in my baking. I will have to try these. I think the orange would be a brilliant backdrop to the curry/chocolate. Clarice

Ashley said...

Great experiment! Did you say you used semi-sweet chocolate? I wonder if the curry would be better paired with bittersweet?
Great entry.. I would love to try the recipe but I think I might be the only one eating them.

Orlena said...

That is so funny...we must be on similar wavelengths because I just made (and posted some pics of) brownies--not as creative as yours, but brownies nonetheless. Must have been something in the Peruvian lunch we had!

Bonnie Loves Cats =^..^= said...

Hi,

This week's Weekend Cat Blogging # 68 will be over at Sarah's. Please post your links at: http://chefsarahjane.blogspot.com/2006/09/wcb-68.html.
Would anyone else be interested in hosting a future WCB?
Thank you.

BONNIE,
http://misselliespage.blogspot.com
danbonnie1@adelphia.net

peabody said...

I've had curry before in a truffle but never a brownie...good idea.

Nicole said...

This sounds like a very interesting idea! I'm not sure if I would like the curry but I think I might try some with cayenne. I really love the chocolate flavored with hot pepper here in Sicily (we've even had hot pepper chocolate gelato!), I just hadn't thought about trying it in brownies.

jenjen said...

I've heard of chilli and chocolate but never curry and chocolate. What a great twist in the humble brownie!

lucette said...

Even though you gave this a mixed review, I'm dying to try it. Probably I won't say ahead what's in it--I have some picky tasters who might refuse to go there.

Ivonne said...

I admire your adventurous spirit.

Well done!

Abby said...

I think it sounds interesting, and I'd try it, but I'm not sure I'd dig it, either. I made sugar cookies last night, with a pinch of cayenne in them, and it was too much for me. I'm going to blog about it this week, but I'm not so adventurous to do it again!

Natalia said...

That is something I would definitely like to try! I love curry. Never had it with chocolate, but it sounds very intriguing.

evan said...

hi i stumbled upon your blog. lovely food pics u have here :) the curried brownies is really something new to me!im a foodie myself too and its great to know likeminded ppl. take care!

Alanna said...

Oooo, I love this idea, it's both traditional and unusual, traditional with a twist, as they say. And I so CANNOT relate to the idea of not trying something because it "sounds" different. Anyway, thanks for surprising us all for Sugar High Friday, Look for the round-up later today! Alanna

Brilynn said...

It's always good to try new things, even if you didn't like them. But I know it's always sad when you bake something and end up not liking it.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I can't think of anything better than a dessert combining ginger, curry powder, and chocolate...! I'll definitely have to try this out. Thanks for sharing!

Dianka said...

What an interesting combination! Love it!

Josie said...

I love that you went in such an unusual direction----and that you were willing to admit that you didn't really love them! I mean, I wish you had loved them, but it's fun to experiment nonetheless, isn't it?

bea at La tartine gourmande said...

Great lovely idea. This chocolate, miam !

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

I baked your brownies yesterday and we loved your recipe! The curry added a special flavor to those brownies, but I found that it wasn't overwhelming. In fact, if you don't know that there is curry powder in those brownies, you won't taste it directly...

Thanks for the great recipe!

Alice Q said...

I think it sounds great! Vosges makes a chocolate bar with milk chocolate and curry - and I liked it a lot!

Anonymous said...

Seems like my comment got lost in cyber space. I just wanted to say that I like your adventurous spirit, I don't think I would have gone that route. Proves that it takes a whole bunch of different tastes to make up the world!
The brownies look wonderful nonetheless!

gattina said...

Mary, I see your comment pretty honest :) But at least it's a nice try, your brown does look moist and nice! For me, curry, wasabi, etc should just stay in a saucer.

Emma said...

Thanks for your entry to DMBLGIT - have a look at all the entries here.

Great experimant! Well worth a go - I suppose baking and curry spices are not that different really!

Karen said...

whoa. curry and chocolate? i don't know if i get that.

Anonymous said...

hi, as you said you didn't like the curry i used a chilli chopped very finely and this recipe is definatley one i will make again
Thank you x

Rose said...

I made this yesterday and I found it very interestng that it had curry powder in the recipe. I did omit it however (as I was making them for a friend) but instead I used mixed spices (coriander,cinnamon,nutmeg) to create the spice and (because she likes sickly sweet things) I added golden syrup, honey and nutella as well as the chocolate and sugar ^w^. It was really nice though and your recipe so far has been the nicest and easiest to follow. I will try curry powder next time, as I am now curious as to what it will taste like :P

Anonymous said...

When I google "curried brownies" your site is the only one that comes up, which gave me hope that they could be done and be awesome! Here's what I did for mine, the ones that I made were some of the best brownies i have ever eaten (and trust me I eat a lot of brownies).
I went to food network.com and found the most highly rated brownie recipe I could find. The one I used, I substituted more flour and less cocoa powder because I didn't have enough cocoa powder. Then I added 2 tsp curry powder, 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1 1/2 nutmeg and 1 tsp ginger.
The frosting I made from scratch, just experimenting with butter, yogurt, sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves and some melted chocolate and coconut.
They were honest to gd some of the best brownies I have ever eaten! Here's a link to my blog and the better explanation of them http://stockpotblog.tumblr.com/