MEXICAN CHOCOLATE BROWNIES

MEXICAN CHOCOLATE BROWNIES (16)

Desserts, bars, Mexican chocolate brownies 1 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Chocolate is native to southern Mexico, where it was valued centuries ago by both the Maya and the Aztecs.  Traditionally, Mexican chocolate is flavored with such spices as cinnamon and allspice. 

2-1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the baking dish

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ancho chile powder or ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


1.Preheat the oven to 350*.  Line an 8 inch square baking pan with enough foil so that the foil extends a few inches over 2 sides of the pan (this will make it easier to lift the brownies out after baking).  Butter the foil.

  1. Put chocolate and butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until butter and almost all of the chocolate has melted, about 4 minutes.  Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool for a few minutes (any remaining chunks of chocolate should melt).
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, chile powder, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.  Put the chocolate mixture into a medium bowl and stir in sugar, eggs and vanilla.  Add flour mixture and stir just until smooth.  Pour into the prepared pan and bake just until the top of the brownies begins to look dried and a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with moist crumbs but no raw batter sticking to it, 30 to 35 minutes.  Cool brownies in the pan for 10 minutes and then use the foil on the sides to lift the brownies out and place on a rack to cool completely.  Peel off the foil and cut the brownies into 16 squares.

NOTE:  This recipe calls for ancho chile powder, made from ground chile peppers.  Chili powder (which is made from a blend of seasonings) is not a substitute and will not yield good results.

from Whole Foods Market

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MEXICAN BROWNIE REDUX: The brownies can become sundaes with the addition of vanilla ice cream, dulce de leche, whipped cream and a dusting of cinnamon. Chopped peanuts and/or toasted, sweetened coconut are further options.

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