These little goodies were inspired by a specialty chocolate shop in Asheville, NC called The Chocolate Fetish. A locally owned business that serves up the BEST truffles around. They’ve received national awards and accolades for creating truffles with unique flavor blends and their attention to detail.
One top seller is the Ancient Pleasures Truffle in their “Ecstasy” line. A striking fusion of dark chocolate and cayenne pepper! The combination originated in South America long ago, and is evident in numerous Latin dishes…think mole’ and cocoa-spice rubs for beef and pork.
Paying homage to an Asheville city treasure, these little brownies offer the same distinct flavor, without the difficulty of truffle making! The spicy heat plays so well with the deep smoky essence of chocolate. Prepare to be amazed!
Generally speaking, there are two types of brownies; those that use cocoa powder as the chocolate base, and those that use melted chocolate. The cocoa sort generates a “cakier” brownie, while the melted chocolate version produces a denser, “fudgier” brownie. The second option is by far the more decedent of the two. NOT a low fat recipe; but worth every fat gram!
Ancient Pleasures Brownies
3 sticks unsalted butter
12 oz. semisweet baking chocolate
1 ¾ cups sugar
1 Tb. vanilla
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 Tb. instant coffee granules
¾ tsp. cayenne pepper
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 Tb. Cocoa powder
1 Tb. powdered sugar
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
Preheat the oven to 350*. Melt the butter and 12 oz. of chocolate together in the microwave or oven a double-boiler. Allow to cool.
Whisk eggs, sugar and vanilla together. Then once the chocolate has cooled a little, whisk the eggs mixture and chocolate together.
Stir in the flour, salt, coffee granules and cayenne. Once the batter is well combined, add the chocolate chips. Grease a 9X13 inch baking dish. Pour the batter into the dish and bake for 35-40 minutes.
Test the brownies with a toothpick—if it’s mostly clean take them out! The brownies continue to cook a little as their cooling, but you don’t want them to be overcooked. Allow the brownies to cool completely. Cut into 12 large, 18 medium, or 24 small squares. Clean the knife with a paper towel in between cuts to insure the edges are smooth.
Mix 1 Tb. cocoa powder, 1 Tb. powdered sugar, and ½ tsp. of cayenne pepper together. Using a sifter or small sieve, dust the brownies while they are still in the pan.
Then carefully remove them with a spatula. Makes 12-24–depending on size!
*If you are sensitive to spicy food, just half the amount of cayenne.
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