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It’s true.  I am possibly the most stubborn person in town.  I get an idea in my head and, by golly, nothing is going to take it away.  Some guess that it’s because I’m from New England, though I don’t know what that really has to do with it.  Others think it’s because I’m the oldest sibling of four, but I really don’t understand the reasoning there.  But, oh, can I set my mind.  For instance, I have never seen Forrest Gump (yes, of course I have seen parts– run Forrest run, box of chocolates, etc.) because too many other people were seeing it.  I refuse to read the Twilight books or see any of the movies because too many people read them.  (There are more reasons than that…)  I have never eaten anything from Taco Bell or even been in one, just because.  In fact, if I am told that I “have to” go somewhere or see/read/try something, I am more likely than not to decide I just won’t.  I don’t make these choices to be negative, or even contrary; I just like to make my own decisions, follow my own path, etc.  Oh, and I am very stubborn.

Mom called this morning to remind me that if I had been born on my due date, today would be my birthday.  I was born in October.  Stubborn.

And when it comes to food, I have very specific criteria for “what goes”.  I just can’t get behind lemon and chocolate being together for any reason.  Black beans do not belong in a salsa.  Whoopie pies should be made with cream filling, not frosting, which also does not go on a brownie.  Potato salad does *not* need pickles in it.  I know I am hard-headed about arbitrary things and I try not to unnecessarily impose my rules on others.  In spite of my stubbornness, I am more adventurous than you might think in my cooking: I love to experiment with flavors and I delight in discovering special “new” combinations.  One of my favorite discoveries is what happens to a brownie when you add curry powder garam masala.

Yes, you read that right.  Garam masala in a brownie.

Whaaaaaaaat?  That’s weird, you might say.  It’s a spice for curry mixed into a dessert!  But breaking down the garam masala I used, a Kashmiri blend, you see cardamom and clove in the ingredient list, both chocolate-friendly flavors.  I can’t take credit for the initial idea; it was a hint passed on by a sage, wonderful woman behind the magical counter at World Spice.  But I can take credit for playing with the recipe until I got it just right.  And you would be stubborn not to try it.

Dark Chocolate Brownies with Garam Masala

  • 2 sticks butter, melted
  • 3/4 c. good quality dark cocoa powder (Hershey’s Special Dark is a nice one)
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 1 T garam masala (Kashmiri recommended)
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c. sifted all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 13×9″ baking pan.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat.  Add the cocoa powder, sugar and garam masala and mix well to combine.  Cool slightly before adding the eggs one at a time; mix well after each egg to incorporate.  Add the vanilla, mix, and finally add the flour.  Pour the batter into the greased pan and bake for 30-35 minutes.  When you take the brownies out, they should still look shiny and slightly undercooked, but this is okay.  If you are patient enough to let them cool, they will be gooey but cooked through.  If you are not patient enough, they will be too hot, your mouth may burn and you will not taste the spice.
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