Las Cruces – Got a sweet tooth? New Mexico State University's Chile Pepper Institute has unveiled its latest creation, Dr. B's Bhut-Kickin' Brownies - a brownie baking mix spiced with Bhut Jolokia chile powder. All brownie mix proceeds will go to fund future chile pepper research at NMSU.
"This is a very exciting product," said Danise Coon, senior research specialist for the Chile Pepper Institute. "Through taste surveys, the general public helped us choose the heat level of the brownies. We had people driving from more than an hour away take part over the summer. We started with more than 1,000 samples, and ran out in about an hour."
The brownie mix is based on a recipe created by Paul Bosland, an NMSU professor and head of the Chile Pepper Institute. His brownies, made each year for the department Christmas party, blended the sweet characteristics of chocolate with the spicy characteristics of Bhut Jolokia chile powder. The idea of mixing chocolate and chiles is a culinary technique that dates back to the ancient Aztecs.
NMSU's relationship with the Bhut Jolokia was cemented in 2006 when the Chile Pepper Institute discovered it exceeded one million Scoville Heat Units - the first chile pepper to do so. One million Scoville Heat Units is about 100 times hotter than an average jalapeno.
The brownie mix is made by ACES in the Hole Foods, a student-run manufacturing company in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences in NMSU's College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. The ACES in the Hole Foods project provides students with hands-on opportunities to apply the principles of food service and technology to the production of new food products. NMSU graduate student Sarah Padilla designed the bag's artwork.
The brownie mix costs $10 and is available at the Chile Pepper Institute, located in Gerald Thomas Hall Room 265. For more information, call 575-646-3028 or visit www.chilepepperinstitute.org.