Ginger-Jazzed Brownies

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If you like brownies and ginger, then you should try this recipe!  Like most dense, chocolate-y recipes, it converts well to gluten-free-ness, and the little ginger bits add an interesting, spicy kick.

Baking Note:

  • If you don’t have enough unsweetened chocolate, you can use 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate plus 4 ounces dark (72%) chocolate, and cut the sugar to 3/4 cup.

 

Ginger-Jazzed Brownies
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours

Yield: 16 brownies

  • 3/4 cup gluten-free OR all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2-3 tablespoons finely minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 cup + 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) butter, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup OR agave nectar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs

 

  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F.  Line a 9-inch square pan with foil, butter the foil, and place the pan on a baking sheet.
  2. Whisk the flour, salt, and ground ginger together.
  3. Put the minced fresh ginger and 1 1/2 tablespoons of the sugar in a small bowl, stir, and set aside.  (If you do this a day ahead, cover the bowl with plastic wrap; if you do it several days ahead, cover and refrigerate.)
  4. Melt the chocolates in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, or melt them in a microwave oven; keep the heat low so the chocolates do not get very hot.  Set aside to cool.
  5. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter at medium speed until it is smooth and creamy.
  6. Beat in the corn syrup OR agave nectar, then the remaining 1 cup sugar, and continue to beat for another 2 minutes or so, until the butter is smooth again and the sugar is incorporated.
  7. Add the vanilla.
  8. On medium speed, add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each one goes in and scraping the bowl down as needed.
  9. Beat for 1 minute more, then reduce the mixer speed to low and add the macerated ginger (and any liquid), then the dry ingredients (mixing only until the flour disappears if you’re using all-purpose flour).
  10. Remove the bowl from the mixer and, using a rubber spatula, gently and thoroughly stir in the melted chocolate.
  11. Scrape the batter into the pan.
  12. Bake for 30-35 minutes; a thin knife inserted into the center of the brownies should have streaks of moist, fudgy chocolate on it.
  13. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool to room temperature.
  14. When the brownies are completely cool, turn out onto a rack, peel away the foil and invert onto a cutting board.  Cut into 16 squares, each roughly 2 1/4 inches on a side.
  15. Wrapped well, the brownies will keep for 2 days at room temperature (during which time the ginger flavor will become a little more pronounced) or for up to 2 months in the freezer.
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Orange-Flavored Baked Chinese New Year Cake (Nian Gao)

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Happy Chinese New Year!  This is a variant on the vanilla-flavored nian gao that my mom makes (recipe here), inspired by flavorings from this recipe.  It has an intense orange flavor.

 

Orange-Flavored Baked Chinese New Year Cake (Nian Gao)
Recipe from my mom and Woks of Life

  • 1 lb sticky rice flour (I like to use a Thai brand, Erawan)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup butter (or margarine), softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups milk
  • Zest of half an orange
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon molasses

 

1. Preheat oven to  350°F.  Grease a 9″x 9″ baking pan thoroughly.
2. Beat the butter until creamy, then beat in all the other ingredients.  The batter will be runny, and it’s fine if there are little pieces of butter floating in it.
3. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes until the top is golden brown.  Don’t worry if a tester comes out with nian gao on it still; that’s expected.  It’s also difficult to over-bake – you’ll just get a crackly, crunchy layer on top that has a great texture.  When done, the cake will be sort of jiggly and (what else?) sticky.