Spicy Malted Chocolate Chipotle Brownies

Johnny Iuzzini is a James Beard Award-winning pastry chef and author of two cookbooks: Dessert FourPlay and the new Sugar Rush. (Fun fact: He’s also an avid motorcyclist.) All week long, Yahoo Food will be sharing Iuzzini’s recipes, plus an interview with the man Forbes magazine calls one of the ”10 Most Influential Pastry Chefs in America.” 


Photo: Michael Spain-Smith

Spicy Malted Chocolate Chipotle Brownies
Makes about 2 dozen 2-inch-square brownies

This decadent brownie is not for the faint of heart—this is a bar with an attitude. It is dense, intense, and has a one-two punch of heat from chipotle and paprika powders. The earthy richness of the malt gives the brownies almost a fermented flavor; the heat and the maltiness linger long after you finish one. A little bite goes a long way.

1⁄2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for the pan (226 g)
2 to 3 tablespoons Demerara sugar, for the pan
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate (66 to 72% cacao), chopped (284 g)
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped (57 g)
3 tablespoons barley malt syrup (75 g)
4 large eggs
2 cups granulated sugar (400 g)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (10 g)
1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour (190 g)
1 teaspoon baking powder (4 g)
11⁄2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder (3 g)
1 1⁄2 teaspoons smoked paprika (3 g)
3⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (1 g)
1 teaspoon kosher salt (4 g)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter an 8 × 11-inch baking dish or cake pan and coat it generously with Demerara sugar, tapping out the excess.

Put the bittersweet and unsweetened chocolate and the 1⁄2 pound butter into a large heatproof bowl. Fill a saucepan one-third full of water and bring it to a simmer. Set the bowl over the simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Stir the chocolate occasionally until completely melted. Remove from the heat, stir in the malt syrup, and cool to room temperature.

Put the eggs, granulated sugar, and vanilla into a standing mixer bowl and set it over the simmering water, making sure the bowl does not touch the water. Whisk constantly until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is hot to the touch (180°F). Transfer the bowl to the mixer, attach the whisk, and whip on high speed until pale, fluffy, and cooled to room temperature, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, sift together the flour, baking powder, chile powder, paprika, and cayenne into a bowl; sprinkle the salt on top. With a large, flat rubber spatula, fold the whipped egg mixture into the cooled chocolate until just combined but still streaky. Sprinkle the dry ingredients in 4 additions over the chocolate, folding until just combined between additions.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth the top with the spatula. Bake in the center of the oven for about 50 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean.

Cool the brownies completely in the pan before cutting into 2-inch squares.

Excerpted from Sugar Rush: Master Tips, Techniques, and Recipes for Sweet Baking by Johnny Iuzzini with Wes Martin (Clarkson Potter, 2014). 

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