I'm not a major fan of brownies, when you get them from the shops or even Borough Market they tend to be a touch dry, or they fall apart. So with the exception of Nigella Lawson's philadelphia cheese brownies, I rarely make them.
Today I made chilli brownies. The reason being is that there is a spice cupcake competition in town and I was wondering if chocolate chilli cupcakes would work. They probably would but whether that would be against the rules almost. Anyway, I'd already made cupcakes this morning - apple and spice cupcakes which on tasting, were definitely more muffin than cupcake. My fault. Any recipe using oil instead of butter comes out like that. I'll post an apple muffin pic up here, but not the recipe because it wasn't fabulous. You can find others just like it, but whereas I want the spice to meld into the cupcake, it was more like cake, with spice stuff. So back to the drawing board if I'm going to be entering that one (it's a fun competition anyway because you get to taste everyone elses!)
The chilli brownies however, were fantastic. If I say so myself :P They sliced nicely into really diddy squares and weren't overpowering. It was just a nice tingle on the lips that really told you there was chilli in the mix. The original recipe came from Jill Dupleix but I pretty much substituted everything by accident or design. To start with, I made it with dark chocolate. Not even good dark chocolate, bourneville since we had loads left (sister bought by accident when I asked for dark chocolate) and I've been working through the packs by shoving it into premade croissant pastry. It actually tastes pretty damn good in this. If you want to be precise, 100g was decent 70%+ dark chocolate from the baking section in Waitrose, which I found is about 15p cheaper than buying eating chocolate from the chocolate section.
Other changes include the fact that I didn't read properly and melted 300g of chocolate into the butter at the start, rather than saving half to put in the mix as chunks - so I substituted with a packet of white chocolate chunks, which don't look that nice to me. Far from Nigella's imagery of snow, I just think of...*ahem* other less savoury images of which you don't want to think of when eating brownies. Also since I was making dark chocolate rather than white brownies, I figured there's no point in using a green chilli for extra colours. But anyway, the recipe, is as follows. Enjoy!
Chocolate chilli brownies
300g dark chocolate (bourneville was actually okay)
100g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g plain flour
1 pack of chocolate chunks/drops
pinch of salt
For the chillies
2 large chillis, sliced and deseeded
100g caster sugar
1. Heat the oven to Gas 6
2. Line a roasting tin with parchment paper (no grease necessary)
3. Steep sugar, water and chilli mix on the hob at a light simmer for 5 minutes then turn off and leave.
4. Melt chocolate and butter together and let cool a bit.
5. Mix eggs, sugar and vanilla, and then add the melted chocolate
6. Fold in the sifted flour and salt, then add chocolate drops.
7. Drain chillies and add to the mix.
8. Bake for 20-25minutes until the top is firm although the middle might have some sink when you prod it.
9. Slice into one inch squares and eat from the outside in - the middle is still squidgy ;)