Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Love Squares

Our friend Chef Jon Jividen has come up aces again. He combined two of our favorite things:  Chilis and chocolate to create Cantina Fudge Coffee Brownies with Chipotle, or as we deem them, Love Squares (recipe below).

We have already discussed how the body's response to chilis mimics the physiological effects of erotic arousal.   We recently learned that the chemical ingredients in chocolate can create the euphoric feeling we experience when in love.   With the combo Jon drummed up, well, we think we know what we're doing Saturday night.  (Hold on, we need a moment.)

Chocolate contains small amounts of three substances, caffeine, theobromine and phenyethylamine that, together, quite simply, make us feel good.  We all know the delights of the morning caffeine burst--but chocolate contains much less caffeine than coffee or tea, so the effect is more of a gentle caress than a hearty jolt. Theobromine is also a stimulant, but much milder than caffeine.  Phenyethylamine is reputed to be a mood elevator and an anti-depressant. The combination of these three substances, giving you extra energy, making your heart beat a little faster, making you a bit jumpy and slightly giddy....well, you can see how chocolate could be linked to love.

Jon says:
"This recipe has two great angles going for it; the sweet/hot flavor dance and the combination of chocolate and coffee.  I have found that coffee does beautiful things with chocolate. The two complement and enhance one another and a dash of coffee in any chocolate dessert
will actually ‘bump’ the flavor and intensity of chocolate. (What could be better than a fabulous chocolate truffle and a cup of espresso)?  Chipotle chilis are one of my favorites. I love the smoky richness and depth of flavor. I have utilized them in this recipe, along with de Arbol chilis.
So, what happens when you combine chocolate, coffee, smoke and heat? Something close to ethereal."

‘Cantina’ Fudge Coffee Brownies with Chipotle

6 oz. (1 ½ sticks sweet butter)
1 11 oz bag semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped  ( Ghirardelli or Callebaut brand )
1 generous tsp ground chipotle chile powder
1 scant tsp ground ancho chilie powder
1 ½ TBS. finely ground French roast coffee beans (any dark roast will suffice )
1 ½ cups sugar
3 eggs, (room temp)
1 cup all purpose flour
1/8 tsp. salt
optional:  3/4 cup chopped walnuts – (or Macadamia, cashews, almonds or pecans)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease  an 8” x 8” square baking pan. (see note below re:  pan)
Melt butter and 5 oz. of the chocolate in double boiler or saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently.
When melted and blended, remove from heat and add chilis and coffee. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Whisk eggs and sugar together in large bowl until smooth and light in color.
Add the chocolate/butter mixture to the bowl, then add remaining ingredients – including the extra 3 oz. of chopped chocolate.
Fold ingredients together until just blended.
Pour batter into pan and bake for 30 minutes in lower shelf of oven.
NOTE:  You may also use an oblong 8"x12" pan.  The brownies will be slightly thinner so reduce cooking time to 30 minutes.
Remove and let cool to room temperature.  Cut into squares and wrap or store in air tight container.

Of course, it's best to proceed cautiously with love potions...just ask Ron Weasley.

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