Spicing up your love life with food is nothing new. The mouth, a sensuous source of sensations, is one thing we can relate to from the moment we are born. We emit sounds from it, we take in nourishment with it, we use it to express inner emotions; it is truly one of the best ways to communicate feelings to one another.

With movies like the 2000 film “Chocolat” with Johnny Depp, the exploration of the sensual and food heightened the appeal of using food as a catalyst to great lovemaking experiences. Here is a recipe that will make your senses tingle, as it is sweet and spicy all in one bite!

We use traditional hoodoo spices in our brownie mix to heat things up in different ways, as each element of cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and ginger adds a bit of “heat” in their own unique way.


Ingredients:

Combine in a separate bowl:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (a traditional hoodoo spice for warm, affectionate love)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (traditionally used in hoodoo to “take that fi-yah up a notch!”)
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger (used in hoodoo to “heat things up” in a more subtle way)
1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine in a separate bowl:
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup, packed, brown sugar
1 cup butter (two sticks) at room temperature

Combine in separate bowl:
4 eggs (beaten with a whisk or a low setting on your mixer)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 tablespoon corn oil (can substitute vegetable oil)

Additional:
Sparingly add cold brewed coffee as needed for moisture (no more than 1/4 cup total)

Equipment:

Hand mixer or counter top mixer
Wire Whisk (optional)
Rubber mixing paddle or scraper
Rectangular baking dish
Secondary cookie sheet
Cutting board or wire rack (for cooling)
Parchment Paper or aluminum foil
Cooking oil spray

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350°, and line a rectangular baking dish (either a 9 X 13 inch or a 12 X 7 inch) with enough parchment paper or foil so that there is a slight overhang (for easier removal). Lightly mist with cooking spray and place the prepared baking dish on cookie sheet .

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, salt, and cayenne pepper, and set aside.

Place the butter in a bowl and use your hand mixer/countertop mixer on low to cream, adding sugar in small amounts until well whipped. Set aside.

Whip the eggs together with the oil. then add  slowly to the butter/sugar mixture.

With the rubber paddle/scraper, fold  the dry ingredients into the mixture in small amounts, and gently fold over and over until they are incorporated, taking care not to over-mix.

If the mix appears too dry, add cold, previously brewed black coffee (from the morning’s coffee) in one teaspoon amounts until you determine that the mix is moist. USE SPARINGLY.

Pour the batter into your prepared pan, and set the smaller baking pan on the larger cookie sheet. This is to make sure heat is evenly distributed over the entire length of the bottom of baking pan.

Bake for about 55 minutes, checking at that time, or just until a toothpick inserted comes out fairly clean. (It’s not quite the same doing a “toothpick test” on fudge-y brownies, as these brownies are more “cake-like.” You still may get a little batter, but it shouldn’t be too wet.) If in doubt, bake 5 minutes more, making sure you are close to the oven to continue to check at that time.

Allow to cool in baking dish for about 10 minutes, and then, using the overhanging parchment paper or foil, lift the brownies out and allow them to completely cool on cutting board or wire rack and to set and firm up for you (which can take 3-5 hours!) before cutting.

NOTE: For those not accustomed to spicy foods, have a glass of milk close by as it helps to temper the taste buds and tongue if necessary, and will help you enjoy these spicy little bites of hot love deliciousness!