This recipe, by Lessley Anderson, calls for the world’s hottest chili peppers, along with cinnamon, evoking Mexican chocolate and mole. If you want to experiment with the heat level, separate the dough into two bowls just before adding the chili powder, then add different quantities of chili powder to each half batch. We don’t recommend going over 1 generous pinch per half recipe unless you are a chilehead, and in any case, apply caution. Bake the two separated halves in bread pans or two 8 × 8 baking dishes lined with foil. —Modern Farmer
one 9 x 13 pan of brownies
1 1/4 cups
unsweetened cocoa powder
espresso powder (optional)
2 1/4 cups
1 1/2 cups
unbleached all purpose flour
dark chocolate chips
1 to 2 pinches
dried Superhot chili pod (we used the Moruga Scorpion), ground to a powder in an electric spice mill or mortar and pestle. If your pod is too wet to grind, first toast in a frying pan or in oven.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×13 inch baking dish with foil (or two bread loaf pans or an 8×8 inch baking dish, see headnote) and set aside.
Mix the eggs, cocoa, salt, espresso powder, cinnamon, baking powder, and vanilla extract in a bowl until smooth. Do not use a whisk or it’ll get jammed up.
Melt butter over low heat on stovetop, then mix in sugar. Again, don’t use a whisk.
Add the hot butter/sugar mixture to the egg/cocoa mixture, stirring until smooth.
Add the flour and the chips, stirring until smooth. Note: If you want the chocolate chips to remain more intact, left the batter cool slightly before stirring in the chips. Add two generous pinches of superhot chili powder, then pour the batter into your pan. Or (see headnote) halve your batch and vary your chili powder amounts accordingly.
Bake 30 to 50 min, depending on how hot your oven runs. Brownie should look set, not runny, but will leave goo behind on a tester or knife. Let cool completely in pan before removing foil and slicing.