Introduction: Hot Brownies!
In this Instructable I will give a step-by-step guide in how to bake brownies which have the interesting addition of hot sauce. I have divided the recipe to make two smaller batches of brownies, one batch being mild enough just to give a small hint of heat when you eat them, and a second, much hotter batch for the braver foodies.
Step 1: Ingredients
For either one large batch or two small batches of brownies (Both fitting a 20 x 20cm square pan), you will need:
185 grams of butter,
185 grams of dark chocolate,
Hot sauce! I used 1 1/2 tablespoon for my mild batch and 4 for the hot batch.
3 large eggs,
275 grams of golden caster sugar,
90 grams of plain flour,
40 grams of cocoa powder,
and 100 grams of fillings of your choice (I used half milk chocolate chips and half chopped blanched almonds).
To see how the two small batches are baked, see step 5.
Step 2: Make the Chocolate Mix
In this step you will be melting the chocolate and butter together to make the chocolate mix for your brownie. The most effective way to do this is to bring a pan of water to the boil, and to add a heatproof bowl containing the dark chocolate and cubed butter on the top. Make sure that the water level in the pan is not high enough to touch the bowl, as you only want the steam to be used to help melt your ingredients.
Mix the ingredients together until they have melted completely, then take the heatproof bowl off the pan of water. At this point, you can add your hot sauce! I split my chocolate mix into two bowls so that I could have two different levels of heat in my brownie. If you plan on adding more than 3 tablespoons of hot sauce, you may want to spoon out a tablespoon or two of the chocolate mix so that you don't liquefy the final brownie batter later on.
At this step you can also preheat your oven, at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, or 180 degrees Celsius/Gas Mark 4.
Step 3: Beating the Eggs and Sugar!
Due to melting the dark chocolate and butter, the brownie batter needs more air to be lighter and fluffier. In this step, Beat the eggs and sugar together, either in a mixer for five to seven minutes, or by hand, until the mixture becomes much paler and greater in volume. The final mixture should be very airy.
When your chocolate mix has cooled down, you can add this egg mixture to it! Using a metal spoon, very gently add the egg mixture in, and gently fold it so that you don't knock the air out of the mixture. They key to this step is to work very slowly, and take your time mixing.
Step 4: Adding the Flour and Cocoa
If you want to make two small batches, then divide your flour and cocoa mixes by two into two separate mixing bowls. Repeatedly sieve the flour and cocoa together until it becomes a uniform colour.
Sieve it one last time into your brownie mix. Using a metal spoon, gently fold the mixtures until nearly combined. Then add any extra ingredients, such as chocolate chips, nuts or fruit, and mix a few more times until the mixture just comes together. You do not want to overmix the brownie batter, as the more you beat flour in any cake mixture, the more the glutens in the flour break down and make the mixture less fluffy.
Step 5: Baking the Brownies!
At this stage you need to get out the baking paper and fold up two small containers for your brownies, or line the whole tin if you just made a single large batch. Gently add the mixture into the baking paper, and use a metal spoon to spread the brownie mixture into the corners of the tin and to level the surface. Trim the edges of the baking paper down the the level of the tin.
At this point, you can bake your brownies in the top third of your pre-heated oven for 25 minutes. (350 F/180C/Gas Mark 4). If you take the brownie mix out and the centre of the mixture is wobbly, then you should put it back in for five more minutes.
When the brownies come out of the oven, leave them to cool in their tin, before you remove them from the baking paper.
Step 6: Eat the Brownies!
You can play russian roulette by hiding a hot brownie within the mild brownies when you offer them to people, or you can just challenge brave people to eat the hot ones. The mild ones make for a tasty snack, with the hot sauce offering only enough heat to improve the overall taste of the brownie, and the heat compliments the chocolate well. The hot ones are for people who love hot food anyway, or for showoffs who like to prove how strong they are! I hope you enjoyed my instructable!