just a smidgen

El Diablo Red Velvet Saigon Cinnamon Brownies

El Diablo Brownie 2

Pink is a “Pink”

(a lovely flower, aptly named)
but it is also juxtaposed with its cousin
the lascivious…

Scarlet Red

The transparent white blends purity and grace with red
to temper its raw passion
and soften its
wanton hue

It somehow becomes more palate-able…

But on Valentine’s Day
we have permission to
run amok and romp with shades of
Scarlet Lake
Venetian Red
Permanent Rose
Cadmium Red

Red brings to mind..



“El Diablo”

 “El Diablo” has been appearing everywhere lately,
In conversation, music, the radio, orchestra, in print.

Even a friend wants to name her dog

“El Diablo!”

Thus… Red takes the “blush” out of pink and emboldens it to become

Brazen and besmirched
Naughty and Feverish
Resplendent in all its fiery,
intoxicating feisty crimson temptation…


“El Diablo”
Perhaps it is time to become a little


Ahhh… settle down, settle down!
On second thought, create a…

A Scarlet Red Velvet Brownie
Heart ♥ Shaped

besmirched and incensed with the passionate bite of
Vietnamese Saigon cinnamon

Flooded with a pool of frosting…
Strewn about with a splatter of

Crushed Cinnamon Hearts
In a tumultuous crimson disarray..

If you’re lucky, you’ll find them resting in a pool of Blood Orange Black Framboise Coulis
… with an orb of frozen ice cream

These brownies were definitely a little bit of pretty fun to make… they didn’t acquire the heat I was going for, so I’ve written in a suggested “optional” dash of chili powder and/or cayenne. When I make them again, I would add a pinch at a time until I get the subtle heat that I was going for here. Others thought the cinnamon could have been cranked up a bit as well. Again, taste and add the spices as you go…

El Diablo Red Velvet Saigon Cinnamon Brownies

El Diablo Red Velvet Saigon Cinnamon Brownies
Cook time
Total time
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp + red food gel
  • 4 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp ++ Vietnamese Saigon Cassia Cinnamon
  • Optional: 3/4 tsp chili powder, dash of cayenne… if you like to heat things up… perhaps start with just pinch, taste and add as you go…
  • Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below)
  • Valentine’s Cinnamon Heart Candies, crushed
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Butter a 9×13” glass baking pan.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, blend together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In a large saucepan, melt butter. Remove from heat, then stir in cocoa powder until blended. Stir in sugar. Mix in red food coloring, blend thoroughly. *If using liquid food coloring, you’ll need much more than this. Keep adding to reach the desired shade of red. Then stir in 4 eggs until blended. Do not over mix. Add vanilla and cinnamon.
  5. Blend in dry ingredients. Taste and adjust cinnamon as needed.
  6. Pour batter into prepared baking pan. Smooth top.
  7. Bake for approximately 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Cool on a wire rack. Move to countertop, using a heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut out heart shapes. Alternate the heart cutter up then down to make fewer scraps.
  9. Put a sheet of parchment or waxed paper under the wire rack. Make the frosting (recipe below) and pour over the brownies.
  10. Crush cinnamon hearts in a plastic bag, smashing with a rolling-pin. While icing is still moist, sprinkle crushed cinnamon valentine’s hearts over top.

 Cream Cheese Frosting

El Diablo Red Velvet Saigon Cinnamon Brownies
  • 8 oz Cream Cheese, room temperature
  • 1 -2 cups + powdered icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp + milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla, clear vanilla if you have it
  1. In a large bowl, cream together the cream cheese and 1 cup icing sugar at a low speed. Add milk and vanilla and blend. Add additional icing sugar until you reach the volume needed for your brownies… about another cup. Drizzle small amounts of milk in until the frosting is thick yet easily runs off a spoon dipped in.

Blood Orange Black Framboise Coulis

El Diablo Red Velvet Saigon Cinnamon Brownies
  • 3 – 6 oz packages fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 tbsp blood orange juice, freshly squeezed
  • (juice from two oranges)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp Royal Chambord Liqueur (Black Raspberry Liqueur)
  1. In a large saucepan, mix together raspberries and sugar. Add orange juice.
  2. Mix cornstarch into one cup of water and add to the saucepan.
  3. Bring to a simmer and boil for about 5 minutes or until sauce has thickened.
  4. Cool then blend with a blender or immersion blender. Strain to remove seeds.
  5. Stir in Black Raspberry Royal Chambord liqueur to taste.

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