Chai Tea Brownies: Are these a sign of Stockholm Syndrome?February 28, 2007
OK, I admit it: This is another solo-Husband dessert project that the wife can’t eat. Wait, hold your hexes and curses! Yes, I made this dessert while my wife is under doctor’s orders not to eat sweets until our son is born. But this dessert was not made with intent to torture. In fact, my wife played a key role in its design.
We were having guests for a dinner party and I was contemplating dessert (a must, in my mind, for dinner parties). Since we’ve had such bad weather of late, I had this overwhelming desire to make something chocolate, dense and almost tooth-achingly rich. At the same time, I wanted something slightly bitter to contrast nicely with sweet pistachio ice cream.
I was going to make an espresso or coffee brownie. In fact, I was about to grind some beans and start brewing when my wife saw a can of chai tea powder in the cabinet and asked, “Why don’t you use that instead?” It was a moment of brilliance — not unlike discovering antibiotics from a stale cheese sandwich. Once added, the chai tea gave the brownies a tang, fragrance and spice, but didn’t interfere with the brownie’s density and tendency toward being gooey (which any decent brownie should have).
I will warn you, however, that I am not kidding when I say these are rich. Flavor-wise, an inch will get you a mile. These are not the brownies from your childhood; you can’t consume a quarter of the pan and wash it down with a glass of milk. So, if you serve them solo, small slices are the way to go. I personally think the best match is my pistachio ice cream. The creamy, salty, nuttiness of the ice cream cuts through the density of the chocolate and plays well with the spices from the chai.
Alright, truth be told, you should probably still curse and hex me. I was making dessert that my wife had to sit and watch several others eat while she sat there, dessertless. I do provide some relief by keeping her cravings at bay with large quantities of blueberries. Isn’t everything made better with blueberries?
Then again, maybe I am a bit cruel and torturous. Perhaps I’ve just worn her down, and now she’s developed Stockholm Syndrome. That would explain why she gives me tips on how to make a better brownie. Hmmm… Well, can’t be bothered with logic and reason, back to the kitchen with me!
… I’ve got this idea for a cake, and I need to go ask her what she thinks about it.
Chai Tea Brownies
4 large eggs
2 sticks unsalted butter (melted)
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup flour
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate (chopped or in chips)
1/4 cup instant chai tea powder
1 tbsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
1. Preheat your oven to 325F.
2. Grease and flour a 9 x 9 baking dish.
3. In a bowl, combine cocoa powder, flour, salt and the chai tea. Whisk together until integrated. Set aside.
4. In a separate bowl or the bowl of your mixer, add the eggs and whisk until they lighten in color. Add both sugars and the vanilla and mix together. After the sugar and vanilla are completely integrated, slowly add the butter and mix. Once the butter is mixed in, add the cocoa powder and flour mixture slowly and mix until completely integrated. Fold in the pieces of chocolate.
5. Transfer the brownies to the baking dish and bake in the oven for 50 to 60 min. To check for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the dish and remove. The toothpick should pull out cleanly without being wet.
6. Let rest for 10-15 min before cutting and serving. Enjoy!