I’m a little obsessed with brownies right now and have been using the excuse of “needing to test more chili infused brownies” as a reason to bake them. The truth is I just like making and eating brownies, but to feel like I was actually doing something different, I made Rick Bayless’s Chocoholic Chile Brownies. As far as chile enhanced brownies go, these may be the best yet. Or at least if you really, really, like chocolate.
Rick’s brownies are cousins to the old Cook’s Illustrated Triple Chewy Fudge Brownies. They’re made with three kinds of chocolate including unsweetened chocolate, semisweet chocolate and cocoa powder. This version is a little different in that it incorporates some brown sugar, calls for 2 tablespoons of chile powder and has a full cup of chocolate chips thrown in at the end. The uniqueness mainly comes from the chili powder, which in this case is suppose to be pasilla negro. I couldn’t find that chili at any of my usual Chicago grocery stores and used ancho.
Here’s Rick Bayless’s recipe, and below I’ve included my version with a few notes and weights for those of you with scales. In my oven they took about 37 minutes, and then I gave them a full 2 hours to cool and a 24 hour chill period. When I took them out of the oven their internal temperature was just barely 212 degrees F so they were barely done, but the 24 hour refrigeration period helped everything sink in and the next day they were outstanding.
- 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 5 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour**
- 3 tablespoon unsweetened natural cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder (may use more if desired)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar (3.5 oz)
- 3/4 cup sugar (5.25 oz)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8 inch square metal pan with nonstick foil.
- In heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water or in the top of a double boiler, melt the butter, and both the semisweet and unsweetened chocolates, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove the chocolate mixture from the heat and let cool.
- While chocolate cools, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt and ancho powder.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, both sugars and vanilla.
- With a rubber spatula, fold the chocolate mixture and egg mixture together. Stir the flour mixture in and mix just until blended, then stir in the chocolate chips.
- Pour mixture into prepared pan and spread into corners.
- Bake on center rack until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or the internal temperature measures 212 with a meat thermometer (it should start lower and gradually rise). Cool completely (at least 2 hours) on a wire rack. If desired, chill for 24 hours before serving or serve immediately. To serve, lift from pan, transfer to a cutting board and cut into squares.
Ancho is usually not very hot. If you want a little more heat you can add a pinch of cayenne or red pepper flakes to the batter or throw in some red pepper flakes.