Sriracha Sea Salt Brownies by Diana Kuan

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Episode 42: Diana Kuan

If you’ve ever tasted mole poblano or a Mexican hot chocolate, you probably already know that the combination of chili and chocolate is pure culinary magic. I first brought these brownies to a family Christmas party years ago and they were a hit with everyone, from my five-year-old niece to ninety-year-old great-aunt. The texture is somewhere between cakey and fudgey. The spice, rather than hitting you immediately, is subtle at first but slowly builds. The brownies will keep for up to 5 days at room temperature or up to 4 months in the freezer, if they don’t all get gobbled up first.

MAKES 16 BROWNIES

  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 4 or 5 pieces, plus more for greasing the pan

  • 2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips

  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar

  • ½ cup granulated sugar

  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 3 tablespoons Sriracha

  • 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt

  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour

  • Powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil, with enough extra to hang over the edges of the pan. Grease the parchment paper or foil with butter.

  2. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate chips over low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and whisk in the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and cocoa. Stir in the eggs until well incorporated, then stir in the vanilla, Sriracha, and 1/2 teaspoon of the sea salt. Stir in the flour until evenly blended.

  3. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the remaining ½ teaspoon sea salt on top. Return to the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with just a little bit of batter or moist crumbs, another 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit for 15 minutes. Carefully use the parchment paper or foil to transfer the brownies to a cooling rack. Cool on the rack for an additional 20 minutes before slicing into 16 brownies. Once the brownies are cooled to room temperature, you may also dust powdered sugar on top.

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Reprinted from Red Hot Kitchen: Classic Asian Chili Sauces from Scratch and Delicious Dishes to Make With Them by arrangement with Avery, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2019, Diana Kuan.

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