I arrived a little late to the blogging world. Until last year, I didn't really know anything about blogs or how enormous the blogging community is. So imagine my total amazement when I discovered the world of food blogs. I was your proverbial kid in a candy store: wide-eyed, amazed and at a loss for where to start looking first.
Smitten Kitchen was the very first food blog I started reading last year, after my friend Allie and I spent two days together cooking in my kitchen to prepare the food for her husband's surprise 30th birthday party. Allie brought over the recipe for homemade oreos, which was recommended to her by one of her friends who reads Deb's fabulous blog. As I read the recipe print-out, the website's name intrigued me, so I went to check it out and I've been reading food blogs ever since.
I get a lot of inspiration from all the food blogs I read. Between the wonderfully descriptive writing and the gorgeous food photography, I've been in the kitchen a lot these days. Sometimes trying the same recipes other bloggers are cooking, other times, just taking an ingredient they use and finding a different recipe to try out. It's also interesting to see where other food bloggers get their cooking inspiration, and their links to other websites and blogs has helped me discover and learn even more about food and cooking.
Take these brownies. After reading Kristin's latest post on her blog, The Kitchen Sink Recipes, I knew I had to try making these for myself. If you already hadn't noticed, I have been on quite the pumpkin kick lately, and I couldn't just let October and November slip by without giving this recipe a try. I mean, it is pumpkin. With chocolate. In a brownie. Swirled. How much more inspiration do I need?
8 T. (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 T. pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin puree
1/4 cup grapeseed oil (you can substitute vegetable or canola oil)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8" or 9" square baking pan. Line bottom of baking pan with a piece of parchment paper. Butter the parchment paper. Set pan aside.
Set a small pot of water on the stove and bring to a simmer. Place a heat-proof bowl inside the pot, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not come in contact with the simmering water. Put the butter and chocolate into the bowl and stir frequently to melt until it becomes a smooth consistency. Once the butter and chocolate are melted, turn the heat off and leave the bowl inside the pot, so the chocolate stays warm.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cayenne and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachement beat the sugar, eggs and vanilla on medium speed, until fluffy and well incorporated, about 3-5 minutes. On low speed, add in the flour mixture and increase speed back up to medium. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Set batter aside.
In another large bowl, combine the pumpkin, oil, cinnamon and nutmeg, stirring well to incorporate all the ingredients.
Take the batter and transfer half of it to the bowl with the chocolate mixture and transfer the remaining half of the batter to the bowl with the pumpkin mixture. Mix the contents of each bowl very well to combine all the ingredients.
Transfer some of the chocolate batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth out with a spatula. Top with some of the pumpkin batter, smoothing it out to cover the chocolate layer. Repeat this process until both batter mixtures have been transferred to the baking pan.
Using a small knife, gently swirl the batters in the baking pan to create a marbled effect. It will look something ike this:
Bake until set and a wooden skewer comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into squares before serving. Store wrapped in foil at room temperature.
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