Thursday, February 21, 2008

Little Fires in Your Mouth

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Chiles for dessert? At first it might be hard to imagine these fiery little vegetables as part of your sweets, but when you’ve had some time to digest the idea it no longer seems so strange. To New Mexicans, who all seem to be addicted to chile anyway, this is just another way to get our fix. After all--hot and sweet together? What’s not to like?

While taking part in a discussion on New Mexican Foods over at the New Mexico forum on the City-Data website, I was intrigued by the mention of red chile fudge. It sounded like a novelty item, just another way to market something from New Mexico. A little exploration and research proved otherwise. There is a wide spectrum of these sweet-hot desserts, as you will see if you read this blog over the next couple of days.

After my research, I was ready to try out a recipe. I wanted brownies with chipotles, but all the recipes I found were pretty complicated and called for way more chocolate and sugar and butter than I wanted to use. So I turned to my favorite brownie recipe, Immediate Fudge Cake, from my ancient copy of Peg Bracken’s Appendix to the I Hate to Cook Book(1966). Here is the variation that I came up with:

Chocolate Chipotle* Brownies
Note: These are best accompanied by a glass of cold milk, to put out the little fires in your mouth

2 squares unsweetened chocolate
1/3 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
½ tsp. vanilla
¾ cup flour
¼ tsp. salt
½ cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts
2 chipotle chiles, chopped fine

Melt the butter and chocolate in the microwave. Add the remaining ingredients, stir well (be sure the chiles are well distributed!). Bake in a greased 8” by 8” pan at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. Glaze while still warm with:

Chocolate Glaze
½ square unsweetened chocolate
1 tbl. butter
1 cup powdered sugar
½ tsp. vanilla
Tiny pinch salt
A little strong coffee

Melt the butter and the chocolate in the microwave, add sugar, vanilla, salt. Beat the mixture well, adding a bit of coffee, until it is the consistency you want.

*Chipotles: Buy them in a can. They are called Chipotles in Adobo Sauce. Store leftovers in a glass jar in the refrigerator. They will go a long way. I will scout out some recipes to help us all use up the rest of the can, and publish them in a future post.

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