Chocolate & Chile de Arbol Brownies

By • August 5, 2011 3 Comments

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Author Notes: It seems unlikely at first, but think about it – a little heat in that sweet... Think molé. You’ve likely seen Chocolat - remember how that spicy hot cocoa Juliette Binoche served Judi Dench just perked her right on up?

So I made chocolate brownies with chile de arbol, topped them with walnuts, garnished them with a little chocolate mint, and paired mine with a glass of milk. I’ll tell you what, not only did it clear up my sinuses from this little cold I’ve been fighting off, but it was shockingly delicious! Even my mom, the baker in the family, who is very anti-spicy, happily - and eagerly - scarfed one down.

Chili AND Chocolate Chili Brownies in the same day?! It just shows to go, you never do know… Throw caution to the wind, my friends.
F for Food


Makes 24 brownies

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus additional for the pan
  • 1/4 cup pure chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chile de arbol
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus additional for the pan, at room temperature
  • 3 ounces 60% dark chocolate
  • 3 ounces 70% dark chocolate
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • A few sprigs of chocolate mint
  1. Position the rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 9x13-inch baking pan; set it aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, chili powder, baking powder, and salt until well combined. Set aside.
  3. Place the butter and both kinds of chocolate in the top of a double boiler set over simmering water. If you don't have a double boiler, place the butter and both kinds of chocolate in a heat-safe bowl that fits snugly over a small pot of simmering water. Stir constantly until half the butter and chocolate is melted. Remove the top of the double boiler or the bowl from the pot; then continue stirring, away from the heat, until the butter and chocolate are completely melted. Transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  4. Beat the sugar into the melted chocolate mixture with a whisk or with an electric mixer at medium speed; continue beating until smooth and silky, about 5 minutes by hand or 2 minutes with a mixer. Beat in the eggs until well incorporated.
  5. With a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula, stir in the flour mixture just until incorporated. Do not beat. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it gently to the corners. Top with walnuts.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Set the pan on a wire rack to cool for at least 30 minutes.
  7. Cut the brownies into 24 pieces while they're still in the pan. Carefully remove them with an offset spatula. Serve immediately, or let cool completely before covering with plastic wrap for storage at room temperature. They will stay fresh for up to 3 days. The brownies can be tightly wrapped in wax paper, sealed in a freezer-safe bag, and frozen for up to 2 months; allow them to thaw at room temperature before serving.
  8. Serve with a chocolate mint leaf and a glass of cold milk!

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