Ethnobrownies: Chinese’d (aka Jewish Christmas)

Since I love brownies and love my recipe for brownies, I have come up with a few ways to take the Brownie and re-imagine it from different cultures (Brownies were actually invented in the United States just around the turn of the 19th century). Because of the texture and strong chocolate flavor, they can hold up to a LOT of additions and still read essentially Brownie. Here was my first success! Inspired by Jewish Christmas, this is an Americanized Chinese food brownie.

  • 5 oz bakers’ chocolate
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 TB sesame oil
  • 1 TB powdered ginger
  • Toppings
    • 2 TB sesame seeds
    • 1 cup white sugar
    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • 3 tsp soy sauce
    •  1/2 cup julienned crystallized ginger


  • Double-boil the chocolate, salt and butter, then whisk in the ginger and sesame oil.
  • Beat the 2 1/2 cups sugar with the eggs, then add to the chocolate, whisk together, fold in the flour, and bake in a buttered dish at 325 for 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cook the brown and white sugar together with the soy sauce until gently caramelized.
  • When the brownies look baked from the top but a knife still comes out a bit wet, pour the caramel over the top, trying to get some over the entire brownie, then sprinkle the ginger and sesame seeds everywhere. The caramel will soak in but the seeds should stay on top.
  • Bake another 5 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.
  • Delicious hints of Chinese without overwhelming the brownie.

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