When a six year old child calls you a Nazi, it's proof that there is something dreadfully wrong with the world. I'm not sure what made me a Nazi exactly. I am blonde and blue eyed. I kissed a German boy once, but it was New Years so that doesn't count. Then there's the fact that he was, you know, a boy.
I wasn't sure what to think of it really. I suppose one thought that crossed my mind was, "He's small enough. I could stomp the little gremlin into paste before he knew what hit him." I was compassionate enough to let him live, and by compassionate I mean I like my job and don't want to be fired.
I was actually a little bit pissed off. More so, I was confused. The reason for the verbal abuse was that the office I work at was out of cups for the water cooler. I just happened to be this travesty's messenger. Apparently the lack of a Dixie cup is a grave offense to children these days.
I went back to my desk, more than a bit irked. Really, I was already having a bad enough day, the last thing I needed was some action figure obsessed punk hurling insults at me over trivial things. Then I realized how silly my being pissed over the matter really was. He was a kid who didn't know better, and I doubt had any real grasp about what he was saying. I've certainly been called worse in my life. In the grand schemes of things this fell between mopping my kitchen floor and deciding if I wanted to get up and have Sunday breakfast or sleep in until Sunday lunch.
I could sit there and stew, churning in my own bile and frustration, or I could simply just shrug it off and let go. Over the years I've learned my best tool for shrugging is to go and bake something. A simple truffle to get over any trifle, and what is it about cookies that can make any problem seem so insignificant?
So I went home, got out some chocolate and shrugged off the day. I was going to make brownies.
Spiced Brownies with Cocoa Nibs
This recipe is inspired by Alice Medrich. This brownie is very moist, somewhere between a mousse, fudge, and cake. The spices added give it a nice bit of warmth. The cocoa nibs and cocoa powder add contrasting textures and flavors of chocolate. I highly suggest pairing with a bit of mint ice cream.
8 ounces of 70% cacao chocolate
6 tablespoons of unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon of cinnamon (optional)
1/2 teaspoon of ground ancho chili powder (optional)
1 cup of sugar
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon of cocoa powder, plus extra for dusting
1/4 cup of cocoa nibs
1. Preheat over to 350F and line a springform pan with parchment paper (a simple 8 or 9 inch square or circle pan will be just fine). Lightly grease and dust the parchment lined pan with butter and flour.
2. Place chocolate, butter, cinnamon and chili powder over simmering water. Stir together and until melted, smooth, and warm.
3. In another bowl place eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla together and whisk on high speed for 2 minutes. It should be thick and and light colored.
4. Add the warm chocolate to the egg mixture and whisk together.
5. Fold in the flour and cocoa powder.
6. Scrape the batter into the lined pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
7. Allow to cool for 30 minutes on a wire rack. Remove springform rim. Dust with cocoa powder and serve. Great with whipped cream, mint ice cream, or chilled cream poured over it.