Day 13 of 31 days of pumpkin and we come to a personal favorite: the brownie. Brownies are the kind of food that inspire strong opinions. People know exactly how they like their brownies. Some people like them cakey, others like them fudgy. Some like the crunchy edges so much that they buy special pans so that every brownie will have a crunchy edge. Others want the slightly undercooked gooey middle. Me? I go for the fudgy, gooey variety, made with chocolate as dark and rich as possible. That’s why I decided to make this recipe using 70% cacao Sharffen Berger bittersweet chocolate and a whole lot o’ butta.
I didn’t think of pumpkin chocolate swirl brownies. Martha Stewart included a recipe for Pumpkin-Swirl Brownies in her 2004 Halloween edition of Martha Stewart Living and has published it online. Last year, Deb Perelman of SmittenKitchen.com published her adapted version of the Pumpkin Swirl Brownie recipe, with beautiful photographs and more detailed instructions. My adaptation ups the fudge factor a little bit on the chocolate portion of the swirl and I omit the cayenne pepper and the nuts. Again. We all have our brownie thing. My other one is that I hate nuts in brownies.
But I’m not against swirling things with the chocolate as long as they are equally gooey, so I made sure that this recipe didn’t have a pumpkin swirl that was too cakey. There’s no baking soda in this recipe and not too much flour either.
The Martha Stewart/Smitten Kitchen recipe is a little more elegant than mine because they have you make one batter, separate it into two bowls and add chocolate to one and a pumpkin mixture to the other. I, on the other hand, created two entirely separate batters because I wanted to follow the Classic Chocolate Brownie recipe (for the most part) provided on the Ghirardelli Chocolate website. I really wanted to maximize the chocolatey gooeyness and the Ghirardelli recipe calls for brown sugar which encourages gooeyness. I was happy with the result. I’d make these again.
Pumpkin Chocolate Swirl Brownies
Makes about 20 brownies
For the chocolate batter:
3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt6 oz Ghirardelli 70% cacao baking chocolate
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
For the pumpkin batter:
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup canned pumpkin purée
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Spray a 9″ x 11″ baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Using a double boiler, melt the butter and chocolate together. I don’t have a double boiler, so I just put a metal mixing bowl on top of a saucepan with simmering water. Stir constantly while they are both melting. Remove from heat and allow to come to room temperature while you prepare the other parts of the batters.
3. In a medium bowl, mix the dry ingredients for the chocolate batter (i.e. the flour, baking powder and salt) and set aside.
4. In another medium bowl, at the other end of the counter, mix the dry ingredients for the pumpkin batter (i.e. the flour, baking powder and salt in slightly different proportions).
5. In a standing mixer, with the paddle attachment in place, beat together the 2 eggs and 3/4 cup of sugar for the pumpkin batter. Mix them for 3-5 minutes until fluffy. Add the vanilla and pumpkin and mix thoroughly. Add the melted butter and spices and blend well.
6. Back to the chocolate batter. Add the brown sugar and vanilla extract to the chocolate mixture and blend well. Beat in the eggs and combine well.
7. Now you are ready to mix dry ingredients with wet. For the chocolate batter, fold the dry ingredients into the chocolate mixture, stirring as little as possible to get it blended completely. For the pumpkin batter, pour the dry ingredients into the wet and use the stand up mixer to combine thoroughly, again without overmixing.
8. Pour half of the chocolate batter into the prepared pan. Layer half of the pumpkin batter on top of the chocolate. Repeat with the reaming two layers. Using a spatula, swirl the two batters together by inserting the tip all the way to the bottom of the pan and moving it through the batters in an S shape. Try to swirl the bottom layer up toward the top while continuing with the swirly, s-shaped motions.
9. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan.