why it works
- The muscovado sugar adds extra moisture and a complex flavor with hints of molasses and caramel.
- Thick whipped eggs thin out the batter for fudgy, not-too-dense brownies.
- Cocoa powder reduces the need for flour, which makes brownies especially tasty and tender.
These brownies are chewy and rich and coated in sparkling strands of crystallized ginger, which provide a contrasting chewy texture. But what makes them particularly exceptional is a delicate blend of fragrant spices that evoke the flavors of winter. Infused with ginger, cardamom, coriander, allspice, nutmeg and cloves, this sumptuous chocolate treat is warm and woody, spicy and sweet.
First, the chocolate. I recommend using chocolate with a cocoa content of around 70% (see some of our favorite supermarket brands in the ‘dark chocolate’ section) here). This gives a deep chocolate flavor that is not too sweet. While it might be tempting to grab a bag of chips, it’s worth splurging on a quality bar. Unlike chocolate bars, chocolate chips tend to have stabilizers added which can interfere with their ability to melt properly and leave a grainy texture when cooled.
Chocolate is naturally acidic that’s why I opt for Dutch cocoa powder. Sometimes called “European-style” cocoa powder, this unsweetened type has been treated with an alkalizing agent that reduces its natural acidity, making it less bitter. Dutch Cocoa creates a cleaner chocolate flavor, more melting texture and adds that characteristic rich dark brown coloring much admired in chocolate desserts.
A substantial and effective dose of spices is necessary to stand out from the strong and enveloping flavor of chocolate. Ginger, bright and peppery, is the main aroma and is used in powder form, fresh and crystallized. It adds a sweet tangy heat to every bite. Coriander brings a citrus flavor, cardamom adds a crisp pine essence, and woody notes are provided by a trio of allspice, nutmeg, and clove. This complex blend of spices complements the rich chocolate and adds a warmth reminiscent of the freezing months.
As Stella explains in her Glazed Fudge Brownies recipe, the most vital step in getting fudgy brownies is whisking the eggs until thick, fluffy, and pale. Certain things, such as mixer temperature and power, can affect how long it takes to whip the eggs, so keep an eye out for visual cues rather than a strict schedule.
I know it’s not easy, but let the brownies cool at least 30 minutes after they come out of the oven. This resting period amplifies the softness and gives the brownies, which will appear puffy at first, time to settle and stabilize.
This winter-worthy treat is guaranteed to delight your senses and satisfy any chocolate craving.