When I saw fellow IHCC member Joyce's and then Kim's posts for their variations of the recipe for Spiced, Caramelised Pecans, my first thought was that these crunchy treats would make an excellent dessert garnish. Since our theme this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs is legumes, I made the recipe with peanuts. And the dessert they garnished? Nigel Slater's Very Good Chocolate Brownies!
The peanuts I had were already roasted, but unsalted, so I just tossed them in the pan with the sugar and 1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder, the only spice I used, and then sprinkled the hot caramelized nuts with some sea salt instead of additional sugar. These were really, really good. I mean, really good. Half the batch was used to garnish the brownies, and the rest, well, it simply vanished....;)!
With the garnish made, it was on to the dessert. Unlike the saucepan method of most of the brownies I make, these ones were assembled like a butter cake beginning with the creaming of (lots of) butter and sugar, then continuous beating while eggs, (lots of) melted chocolate etc were gradually added in. I saved myself a few bowls to wash up by adding the eggs from the shell to the butter-sugar blend and weighing the flour and cocoa powder directly into the mixing bowl. Not losing sight of our theme this week, I included 80g/1/2 cup coarsely chopped legumes in the batter. These took 40 minutes minutes to bake in my oven (to reach an internal temperature of 85C/185F).
The brownies were super rich, fudgy and intensely chocolate-y. The recipe says it serves 12; I cut the 23cm square pan into 49 pieces! Topped with the salty-sweet spiced peanuts, every bite was pure decadence.
The recipe for the brownies is from the Kitchen Diaries. Or click on the recipe names above for internet links. Visit IHCC to see what the others made for this week's theme.