It doesn’t happen often that inspiration for a new flavour of brownie comes from a novel.
In ‘The Lollipop Shoes‘ by Joanne Harris, the heroine Vianne Rocher prepares her favourite chocolate drink by adding a mesmerizing combination of chilli, nutmeg and cinnamon.
Instinctively I knew that this sensual new mixture was going to work. The following morning I baked brownies using all these ingredients.
The flavour was fantastic. Subtle, sophisticated aromas mixed with the richness of 75% pure cocoa chocolate followed by a spicy chilli aftertaste.
I really believe that these brownies are just wonderful. I also need to thank Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson for their infallible book ‘Tartine‘, where one of the best chocolate brownie recipes can be found.
Like Elisabeth and Chad, I adjust and develop recipes in my kitchen all the time, but only thanks to theirs has my brownie become a reality rather than just a dream.
So here is the recipe…
- To make 12 squares you will need a 9×13 inch baking tray lightly greased and lined with baking paper
- 200g unsalted butter
- 450g at least 75% cocoa chocolate, I use Callebaut
- 150g strong flour, I use 00
- 6 large organic eggs
- 400g light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla exctract
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon chilly powder, I grind a little dry pepperoncino (chilli) in the mortar
- pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
- In a pan on low heat melt the butter. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate.
- Stir the chocolate until fully melted. Set aside to cool.
- In a mixing bowl combine eggs, sugar, salt and spices and mix with a electrical whisk for 5 minutes or until the mixture falls from the whisk in wide ribbons.
- Fold in the melted cool chocolate into the egg mixture by using a spatula. Do so gently to avoid deflating the air in the mixture.
- Sift the flour in the mixture and fold in with the spatula.
- Pour the batter in the baking dish carefully and bake until the top starts to crack and is just set to the touch, – about 20/25 minutes.
- Cool the brownie on a wire rack, cut and serve.
They are just wonderful even when still hot!
A final tip. You cannot check if the brownies are cooked by using a toohpick or knife because the tester will come out wet even if the brownie are done. Touch it for yourself!