Sunday, September 20, 2009

Fall starts today

Fall is official in my house. It always starts with the football season beginning (last week) and then the Halloween candy appears in the grocery stores. But it's not OFFICIAL in my house until I haul out the tubs of Halloween decorations, light up my favorite fall spice candle and bake something with pumpkin. Today, it has arrived.

These are the pumpkin swirl brownies from Martha Stewart and they sounded so damn easy, how could I pass them up? I was also assured the pumpkin & chocolate flavors meshed well by my last chocopumpkin attempt with muffins. There would be a big difference between the two, but I'll get to that in a second.

I had to adjust the baking time because I didn't have a 9" square pan, but an 8"; it took an added 20 minutes and it was only just coming out with the toothpick clean. I also didn't add any nuts as the original recipe suggests sprinkling on top and now I wish I had. I think walnuts would've been perfect. My instinct to omit them was completely wrong.

Now, the difference from these brownies and the muffins: the thing about the muffins was, it was all pumpkin then lovely little bits of chocolate chips. In these brownies, there is equal amounts of pumpkin and chocolate and, to be honest, the chocolate kind of takes over. It's like they stepped into the ring and the pumpkin got KO'ed. However, the batter doesn't mix completely (as you can see from the layers), so you can taste them separately. The cayenne, especially, is noticeable in the pumpkin layers (and it's the tiniest bite but it's good!)

These were good but I kind of want a big pumpkin flavor when I make something with it. My pumpkin craving wasn't satisfied at all from this so I'm definitely looking for what's next!

Source: Martha Stewart

Makes 16

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups solid-pack pumpkin
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Optional: 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts or other nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan or dish. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper; butter lining.

Melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, cayenne, and salt in a large bowl; set aside. Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat until fluffy and well combined, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in flour mixture.

Divide batter between two medium bowls (about 2 cups per bowl). Stir chocolate mixture into one bowl. In other bowl, stir in pumpkin, oil, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Transfer half of chocolate batter to prepared pan smoothing top with a rubber spatula. Top with half of pumpkin batter. Repeat to make one more chocolate layer and one more pumpkin layer. Work quickly so batters don't set.

With a small spatula or a table knife, gently swirl the two batters to create a marbled effect.

Bake until set, 40 to 55 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into 16 squares.

1 comment:

Mommy's Kitchen said...

Happy Fall, Those brownies look awesome. So awesome that I gotta try them. Love pumpkin.