Last night I baked up a batch of these goodies, after helping myself to the recipe at Tigers and Strawberries. (A good name, that. The cook over there is a culinary metaphysical poet; she takes humble home-grown stuff and turns it into the untamed exotic. As you will see with these brownies.)
The brownies call for dried chipotle pepper, but I substituted chili powder. I like the added kick of different spices (I think cumin is included in the chili powder I have) along with the peppers.
I also substituted real coffee grounds for instant coffee. I don’t keep instant coffee around. The real coffee seemed to dissolve in the baking pan just fine.
What is weird is the fact that the recipe calls for no leaven at all, only the air bubbles which, I suppose, get trapped into the batter during the high-speed mixing process. We don’t have any electric mixers in the dorm that I’m heading back to after Christmas break, so once I am back into dorm life, I’ll have to find a different recipe. Something that can take soda or powder and a little hand-beating.
I think I only did one thing wrong in the process. I double-lined my baking pan with foil, rather than single-lining it. I think this is what caused the brownies to bake incredibly slowly (the recipe recommends 30-35 minutes, but I had them in the oven for about 55 before they were done in the middle). The top, unfortunately, got very crusty in the process, so finally sticking a fork into them felt like drilling through rock to get to the soft gold.
But the taste wasn’t affected. Spicy, chocolatey, and fantastic! Looks like the academic groom will get a heaping helping of this when next he’s in town.