Chilli chocolate brownies

Photographer: Adam

After falling in love with chilli dark chocolate, I thought what better way to warm up a gloomy winter Tuesday than to make some chilli chocolate brownies for morning tea? Well, the warming effect was certainly intense! My first attempt at these sent a few of the more fragile members of staff running for the water fountain, which although highly amusing, wasn’t really the effect I was going for. So after a little tweaking, I think I have achieved a good balance of sweet and heat, but the temperature of the chilli will depend on its freshness: if you think that box of ground chilli has been lurking at the back of your pantry for any longer than six months, you may want to increase the measure from half to a three quarters of a teaspoon.  Be sure to use really good quality, seriously dark chocolate. These are rich and warming—perfect for a Dunedin winter!


230g unsalted butter
220g dark (70% cocoa solids or more) chocolate – divided in half
1/2 tsp ground chilli
1 tsp ground mixed spice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 shot espresso (or 1 tbsp instant coffee dissolved in 2 tbsp hot water)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup brown sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup white chocolate, buttons or roughly chopped chunks
Icing sugar for dusting


Preheat oven to 165ºC fan bake / 175ºC bake
1. Place butter, half the dark chocolate, chilli and mixed spice in a saucepan and gently melt together, stirring to prevent it catching on the bottom.
2. Transfer melted chocolate mixture into a large mixing bowl. Add vanilla extract, espresso, cocoa powder, brown sugar and eggs. Mix well.
3. Sift in flour, baking powder and baking soda, and mix until flour is just moistened.
4. Roughly chop the remaining half of the dark chocolate and stir through brownie mixture along with white chocolate. Pour into lined 20cm tin.
5. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until firm around the edges and still slightly soft in the middle.
Dust with icing sugar and serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice-cream.