Food trends are an interesting thing to watch, how a flavour or a particular pairing can become all the rage and be everywhere you turn, and then be passe by year’s end. Not being all that trendy myself, I am usually a few years behind. The popularity of bacon in sweet foods still has me squirming slightly, as I am not quite ready to accept bacon as a legitimate presence at the dessert table. I’ve tried it in chocolate, but I am just not quite sold. I don’t dare dismiss it entirely, however, as I’ve been known to capitulate on these sorts of things. Just as I did with another pairing that horrified me at first: chocolate and chili. Now I can’t seem to get enough of it.
I first tasted chocolate and chili together about ten years ago, before it became a real trend. It was up in Bar Harbor, ME, at a little burrito joint that my sister-in-law loved. The only sweets available were Jalapeno Brownies, and I wasn’t about to pass up dessert just because someone had the gall to put jalapenos in it. I remember being surprised and delighted by the combination of sweet followed by a kick of heat. Within a few years, it had become a full-on trend and chocolate bars with chili were everywhere; my local Trader Joe’s carried at least three different kinds. But by the very next year, it seemed to have fallen out of favour, and I could no longer find them so readily. I, however, have stayed in love with the pairing and have long been planning to make a chili-flavoured brownie.
In one of my many internet searches, I came across a few recipes for brownies flavoured with cinnamon chipotle and I knew I needed to try to create a low carb version. I actually tried it during the fall, with a coconut flour brownie recipe that was an utter failure. And by that, I don’t mean that they weren’t very good, I mean that they weren’t ANY good. Tossed the whole lot of them. But I wasn’t about to give up. I came across an almond flour brownie recipe on the Bob’s Red Mill site the other day and I thought it might be a good candidate for my second attempt.
The Results: Chipotle is made for chocolate, with its smoky intensity. You only taste sweet at first, like a regular brownie, but then you begin to feel that slow burn of heat. It’s a winning combination. The cinnamon doesn’t stand out much but it complements both the chocolate and the chipotle, so I think something would be missing if it wasn’t there. The texture of these brownies is more cakey than I’d hoped, but it’s still really, really good. I don’t know if erythritol allows for truly fudgey brownies, but I am on a mission to find out and will be sure to let you all know if I do. But I’d make these brownies again just as they were, I really enjoyed every bite.
Cinnamon Chipotle Brownies – adapted from Bob’s Red Mill
1/2 cup almond flour
2 tbsp corn or arrowroot starch
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp chipotle powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup granulated erythritol
2 tsp heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350F and grease an 8×8 inch baking pan.
In a small bowl, whisk together almond flour, cinnamon, chipotle, baking powder and salt.
Combine butter and cocoa powder in a medium bowl and stir until thoroughly combined. Add eggs, erythritol, cream and vanilla, and beat until smooth.
Add almond flour mixture and stir until thoroughly combined.
Spread batter evenly in prepared pan and top with walnuts. Bake 18-24 minutes or until edges are browned and top is firm to the touch. Let cool in pan, then cut into squares.
Serves 16. Each brownie has a total of 6.4g of carbs, but only 3.4g if you subtract erythritol.