Food should be all about nutrition, energy, fun and enjoyment. I strongly believe that we are what we eat, and that should involve a wide range of food types, with as many of them cooked from scratch as possible.
I also believe in balance, which is why there is always room for a little sweetness in my food habits. This is where the inspiration for these indulgent chocolate and chili brownies comes in.
The richness of the dark chocolate, combined with the kick of the chili, results in a treat that can be served as a dessert, or is equally satisfying as a cheeky afternoon snack.
And you don’t need to layer it on with the self-guilt. Chocolate can be good for you – the darker the better. The higher the cocoa content (aim for at least 70% cocoa content) the more nutritious it is. Dark chocolate is a powerful source of antioxidants, among other health claims.
If you are a chocolate lover, eating dark chocolate will likely reduce your urge to consume huge amounts of it in one sitting, owing to the higher cocoa content.
The dried chili pepper adds more than just heat. According to research the capsaicin found in chili peppers can provide many health boosts, including an increase in immunity levels.
You can adjust the spice factor depending on what level of heat your taste buds can handle. I usually add 1 tbsp of crushed chilies, but if you prefer a milder spice, you should probably reduce this to 1tsp.
You can add in extra ingredients depending on your preferences, chopped nuts such as almonds add a welcoming crunch, or a few sliced raspberries can provide the inside with a more moist and juicy texture.
If you’re not a fan of using refined sugar in your recipes you can substitute this with some honey or maple syrup.
- 8oz (1 cup) of unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 8oz (1 1/3 cups) good quality dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa content)
- 1 tbsp crushed dried chilies* (reduce to 1tsp for a milder taste)
- 1 cup plain flour
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Grease an 8” square baking tin.
- In a bowl, mix the butter and sugar together until a creamy consistency is achieved.
- Add in the chili flakes/chopped chilies and the cocoa powder and mix in.
- Melt the chocolate. I use a silicone pot to melt it in the microwave, but you can also melt it by placing the chocolate in a bowl and placing it over a pot of boiling water. Just take care not to burn it.
- Add the melted chocolate to the bowl, avoiding the temptation to dip your finger in 😉 Stir in to combine.
- Transfer brownie mix to greasing baking tin and cook in preheated oven for 20 minutes. If after 20 minutes it is still soft to touch, turn the heat up a little and cook for a further 5 minutes to add some crunch to the exterior.
- Leave to cool before transferring to a wire rack. Slice into squares before serving.
If you don’t have any chili flakes you can substitute with ½ tsp of cayenne powder for every 1 tsp of flakes. Alternatively you can use a small red chili, either deseeded or not, depending on your tastes.
Chocolate Chili Brownies
- 8 ounces unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 8 ounces dark chocolate ( at least 70% cocoa content)
- 1 tbsp crushed dried chilies or chili powder (reduce to 1 tsp for a milder taste)
- 1 cup all purpose flour
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Grease an 8” square baking tin.
In a bowl, mix the butter and sugar together until a creamy consistency is achieved.
Add in the chili flakes/chopped chilies and the cocoa powder and mix in.
Melt the chocolate & take care not to burn it.
Add the melted chocolate to the bowl. Stir in to combine.
Transfer brownie mix to greasing baking tin and cook in preheated oven for 20 minutes. If after 20 minutes it is still soft to touch, turn the heat up a little and cook for a further 5 minutes to add some crunch to the exterior.
Leave to cool before transferring to a wire rack. Slice into squares before serving.
Maat van Uitert is a backyard chicken and sustainable living expert. She is also the author of Chickens: Naturally Raising A Sustainable Flock, which was a best seller in it’s Amazon category. Maat has been featured on NBC, CBS, AOL Finance, Community Chickens, the Huffington Post, Chickens magazine, Backyard Poultry, and Countryside Magazine. She lives on her farm in Southeast Missouri with her husband, two children, and about a million chickens and ducks. You can follow Maat on Facebook here and Instagram here.