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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

cinnamon chocolate stout mousse brownies.

Brownie recipes are just like chocolate chip cookie recipes - simple, varied and you can never have too many of them. In fact, you might want to keep a few in your arsenal to appease people in different brownie camps. I've tried cakey, fudgey, low-fat, gluten-free, those with only cocoa powder for the chocolaty accent, those with only melted chocolate, those with a mix of both, but this kind of brownie is the first for me.

It's different in it's mixing method, and hence the final texture. Like the name suggests, it's mousse-like. This is because the eggs were separated and whites were whipped before being folded into the batter. So as you can imagine, the brownies rose like a souffle and collapsed slightly afterwards, making the brownies light yet rich and dense at the same time.

I usually prefer to refrigerate my brownies to make them cold and fudge-like but after trying these both chilled and warmed, I would advocate having these warm or at room temperature. They are more fragrant this way, and the mousse-y texture is more apparent.

The original recipe didn't call for cinnamon - it was my own addition and I fear that I may have added in too much, masking the flavour of the stout. I couldn't detect the stout at all when the brownies were cold, and only very faintly when they were warmed. I could tell though, that there was an abstract flavour that contributed to the brownies' richness. But if you're looking for a full-on stout flavour, you'll be disappointed.

On the other hand, if you like chocolate and cinnamon together, you'll like these. Although I said that I probably added in too much, if they were just chocolate cinnamon brownies without the stout, the amount of cinnamon here would be just right.

I know it's Christmas Eve and I should be posting something Christmassy in commemoration and this recipe doesn't really fit the bill, but I'll be seeing to that soon. Wait for it!

Cinnamon Chocolate Stout Mousse Brownies
makes a 9 x 5 inch pan's worth
adapted from here

1/2 stick butter
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
40ml stout
2 eggs + 1 egg yolk, eggs and whites separated
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
scant 3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375F. Prepare a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.

Melt the butter and chocolate together in a bowl over a pot of simmering water. Remove from heat and stir in the stout.

Whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form.

Whisk the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, flour and cinnamon until light and pale.

Slowly pour the chocolate mixture into the egg yolk mixture while beating constantly until the mixture is homogenous. Fold in the egg whites 1/3 at a time until well combined.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 20 minutes or until the top has puffed and looks dry.