In search for an easy, big, nut-free, and interesting cake to bring to feed my students on Tuesday, I was intrigued by this recipe in the cinnamon section of Baked Elements. Spicy brownies with cinnamon and a chili kick? Sounded like something worth trying.
Of course, I don’t have ancho chile powder. Don’t know if they sell it here, what it’d be called, or where I would even start to look for it. So my friend Google suggested I substitute a mix of cumin and cayenne pepper, which I did. But then when I tried the batter it had a mega kick and I thought I might kill the students with spice. Then I was convinced they wouldn’t like the brownies because none of them liked the ginger rhubarb cake I love so much. I attribute that to them having less sophisticated palates 🙂
(Photo credit: Sabrina; clockwise from top: chocolate chip cookies, Ali’s cupcakes, vanilla malt bundt cake, spicy brownies, cinnamon carrot cake)
Well, I was surprised. They all loved it. Some of them thought they weren’t spicy at all. Others got over the initial shock and then reached for seconds, thirds … claiming the kick at the back of the throat was addictive. A colleague tried one of the last remaining ones and declared it to be the perfect blend of a burger and a brownie. Needless to say, they were completely consumed before the end of the day.