Chocolate is one of my favorite vehicles for spices. Its sweetness and fat hold flavors nicely, especially when baked into brownies rich with butter. The short-cut to success here is melting the butter and chocolate in the microwave. It’s a trick I learned from a pastry chef in France who swore by it because, with the traditional bain-marie method of melting chocolate in a heatproof bowl over simmering water, there’s a risk of water splashing into the mix and seizing the chocolate. Besides, brownies don’t require perfectly tempered chocolate to come out delicious, so the microwave works just fine. If you don’t have one, simply place the butter and chocolate together in a heavy saucepan over very low heat and stir just until melted. The rest of the batter is straightforward and foolproof and can turn into mini cakes or even ice cream treats. Just don’t overbake it, and you’ll be guaranteed fudgy brownies. Pink pepper brings a floral piquancy that cuts through the richness of chocolate and complements the aroma of cardamom. Urfa pepper heightens the chocolate flavor with its natural cocoa notes. 


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