Duck fat - Chocolate - Chili Brownies

When I'm good, I'm very good. When I'm bad, I'm better.

Mae West

 chile chocolate brownies picture

Chile-Chocolate Brownies

The heat in these brownies is subtle and builds gradually. This fun grown up treat is reminiscent of molé sauces and *ahem* other things that build slowly and satisfy deeply. I modified this recipe to accommodate my dairy allergy and my growing love for duck fat. There's a savory background to the heat provided by the duck fat. They can be made in no time, let them rest while you make dinner. Enjoy!

Adapted from The New Southern-Latino Table, modifications in parentheses.

  • 1 cup butter (substituted: 1/3 rendered duck fat, 1/3 EarthBalance butter substitute, 1/3 shortening)
  • 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate (Taza Mexican, Chile Chocolates)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (Nielsen-Massey Mexican) Vanilla
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (I used organic, whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ancho chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped and toasted pecans (optional)

For the glaze:

  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 2 TBSP butter (I used 1-2 tablespoons melted duck fat)
  • 1 tablespoon coffee-flavored liqueur
  • 1/2 teaspoon (Neilsen-Massey Mexican) vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chile powder

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Butter a 9x9x2-inch baking pan. (I sprayed w/ oil and lined with parchment for easy removal.)


  1. Place the butter (fats) and chocolate in the top of a double boiler and heat over low heat, stirring occasionally, until they have melted and are well combined. Lift the bowl carefully from the pan so no water droplets come into contact with the chocolate mixture; let cool for 5 minutes and transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Stir in the sugar; add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; stir in the vanilla.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, ancho chile powder, and salt; gradually add the dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture, beating well until fully combined. Add the pecans, if using.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the center is set and the brownies begin to pull back from the sides of the pan. Cool brownies for 1 hour in the pan.


To make the glaze: in a medium bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar, cocoa powder, butter (duck fat), liqueur, vanilla, and chile powder; blend until smooth. Place the glaze in a pastry bag (or zip-top bag with a snipped corner), and drizzle back and forth over the brownies (used a spoon to just brush it over the top.)

Cut them into 20 bars.




From The New Southern-Latino Table: Recipes that Bring Together the Bold and Beloved Flavors of Latin America and the American South. Copyright © 2011 by Sandra A. Gutierrez. Used by permission of the University of North Carolina Press.