Red Savina Habanero Brownies (And a Melissa’s Produce Giveaway!)


Update: This giveaway is now closed. The winners of the Red Savina Habaneros have been announced here.

Ready for some chocolate?

As if that’s actually a question. If you’re like me, you’re always ready for chocolate. Especially brownies. Brownies are essentially the greatest form of chocolate-based sweet. And I’m a fan of all types of brownies, although the fudgy, unadorned, chocolate-only ones tend to win my heart.

Until now, that is.

Meet the habanero brownie. Sure, it looks sweet and innocent, what with its chocolate-y chocolate-ness, with some more chocolate on top. But there’s a surprise lurking in that baby. A little kick. It catches you off-guard as you take a bite and start to melt into the richness of the brownie, forcing your eyes to widen a bit and making you utter “oh!” before taking another bite. And another.

See, that’s the way with these babies. They’re very “more-ish”. The heat is there, but it’s not so much as to throw off the balance of sweet and rich. And that little layer of chocolate frosting? Some might call it gilding the lily, but I just call it good.

These brownies were inspired by a special delivery I received recently. Melissa’s Produce, an online distributor of some amazing-looking fresh specialty produce, contacted me. Apparently they knew I was a bit of a chile addict (I guess posting a habanero-pear jam recipe kind of gave it away), and they offered to send me some of their new Red Savina Habaneros to try. They’re not for the faint of heart – these babies pack a serious punch! But the heat is somewhat sweet, which gave me the inkling to try them in a dessert. Once I learned how much heat they provided (after adding waaaay too much in a bloody mary recipe – ouch!), I knew just what to do.

After all, chiles+chocolate=match made in heaven.

So I whipped up these gluten-free, dairy-free brownies and stirred in some roasted habanero. Let me tell you, the batter alone was delicious. But once baked, the resulting brownie was fudgy but not too dense, moist, and rich. And of course, it came with a touch of heat. Swoon-worthy, if you ask me. I couldn’t have picked a better chile to add that heat too – the Savina Habanero came across clean, sweet and warm. I immediately had to pack the remaining brownies up and take them to the office, lest I devour them myself.

Ready to make these brownies for yourself? Well, Melissa’s Produce has graciously allowed me to give away some Savina Habanero chiles to 3 of my lucky readers! Simply leave me a comment below telling me what you’d love to make with some of these amazing Savina Habaneros, and I’ll choose 3 winners* at random.

The giveaway will end on Saturday, September 22, 2012, so time is of the essence!

(*Winners must be at least 18 years of age and must reside in the United States to be eligible.)

Okay, okay, and now, the recipe.


Red Savina Habanero Brownies (grain-free, dairy-free)

1 Savina Habanero (or other habanero)

2/3 c coconut oil

6 oz quality semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate

1 1/2 c raw turbinado sugar

6 eggs

2 t vanilla extract

1/2 t ground chia seed (I grind whole chia seeds in my coffee grinder – you can substitute ground flaxseed as well)

1/4 c coconut flour

1/4 c almond flour

1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 t kosher salt

1 t baking powder

Preheat broiler to high. Place chile under broiler (I do this on a foil-lined baking sheet) and broil until lightly blackened, turning every minute or two. Remove and place in a bowl covered with plastic wrap or foil. Set aside. This will help “steam” off the charred skin of the chile. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Oil an 8X8 inch metal pan and line with parchment paper. Oil the paper. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, add coconut oil, chocolate, and sugar. Place over medium-low heat and heat until completely melted, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Once chile has been in the bowl for a few minutes, remove. Put on some gloves (highly recommended!) and peel the skin from the chile. Remove the stem, and the seeds. Finely mince the chile and set aside.

Once the chocolate mixture has cooled for a few minutes, whisk in the eggs, vanilla, and ground chia seed until well-blended. Whisk in coconut flour, almond flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder until well-blended. Finally, whisk in the chiles. Scrape the batter into your prepared pan, smoothing out the top.

Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for at least an hour. Frost with frosting, and chill for an hour to allow it to firm up. Serve.

Chocolate Frosting (grain-free, dairy-free)

4 oz semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate

3 T non-dairy butter, such as Earth Balance

1-2 T non-dairy milk

3/4-1 c organic powdered sugar

In a microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate for 30 seconds. Stir until completely melted (microwave for longer if you must, but be careful not to burn). Scrape into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk. Add non-dairy butter, milk and powdered sugar and mix on high speed until completely blended, adding additional milk or powdered sugar as needed to achieve a thick, spreadable consistency. Immediately spread a thin layer of frosting over the brownies.

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free.



  1. says

    I love heat and sweet! Yes, I agree, chiles plus chocolate equals a “match made in heaven.” I’ve never tried to create the taste myself, though. I’m also unfamiliar with Savina Habaneros. Of course, I’ve always been a fan of “Melissa’s Produce.” How could I not be? =)

    Thanks for this recipe. I’ll be trying it with some hot chiles I got in my CSA box last week. Not sure what kind they are, but they look sort of habanero-ish. I’ll also look for the Melissa’s Produce version. I’m curious about the Savina kind.

    Great post!

  2. Jess K says

    I once saw a cooking show that did Key Lime Habanero Cheesecake! I would love to try and replicate that recipe. Yummy :)

  3. says

    wow, that sounds incredible- I don’t think I need to come up with something else to make. This recipe should do it. Hubby loves habeneros and chocolater! Depending on how many of these are part of the giveaway, might cover some in GF caramel and then dip in chocolate tho. (saw and have tried caramel,chocolate dipped chile’s on Heat Seekers)

  4. says

    I LOVE brownies. You’re so brave trying them with chili’s. I’d love to try them in my baking. I’ve always admired chili chocolates so I think this would win me over quite easily.

  5. says

    These look delicious! Just the other day I was thinking about a chili powder spike banana bread. This looks like the perfect recipe to tweak!

    I’d probably use them to make salsa. I need more salsa like I need a hole in my head, but still. 😉

  6. says

    Wow, I agree with Alisa … you do sound pretty spicy there, Alta! No kidding. 😉 Gorgeous photo. I’m not usually a pepper lover, but it’s often with chocolate that I can enjoy them the most … for exactly the reasons you described. :-)


  7. Theresa M Houghton says

    I have a chocolate cupcake with a fudge center and a godiva cream cheese frosting and I think a bit of heat in these would be divine.

  8. Venessa says

    I’d love to try your brownie recipe with these chilis! I love spicy food, so I’d probably use the rest of them in Indian & Thai recipes. Thanks for this giveaway!

  9. AnnMarie Deis says

    OOOOHH!!! I’d make this recipe if I won! :) I received a similar post earllier in the week from a blogger whom I follow who makes traditional wheat fare (I went to high school with her and support her as she makes her way into the blogging world). I was intrigued about using peppers in brownies and then THIS gem of an email comes. I’m thinking it’s the world trying to tell me something. :)

  10. says

    Oh my. These brownies would completely be my downfall. I love spice with my chocolate. Even my hubby, who at first thought the pairing would be weird, loves it now! I totally think I will be making these pronto!! 😀 Great recipe, my friend~!

  11. April says

    I love spicy! I would use them in everything… chocolate, rice, hot sauce, etc. Thanks for the giveaway! :)