A few years ago when I lived in Portland I became unusually obsessed with hot chocolate. But not just any hot chocolate. I lived close enough to walk to Blue Kangaroo coffee shop where I discovered there was such a thing as Mexican Hot Chocolate and how delicious it was. Mexican hot chocolate has a hint of cinnamon in it. Cinnamon isn’t normally my thang but in this instance it is.
At more than $4 a mug, I couldn’t buy Mexican hot chocolate as much as I wanted to and instead resorted to recreating the warm deliciousness at home. I asked the owner of the coffee shop what kind of chocolate she used in the recipe and she more than willingly gave up her secret: Ibarra chocolate.
So I began buying my own Ibarra chocolate bars and smashing and then grounding the chocolate down so I could mix it with steamy hot milk. I drank Mexican hot chocolate on the regular during those years. Not so much anymore. I still buy Ibarra chocolate from time to time and like to keep it on hand though I’ve drastically slowed down my consumption.
I realized the other day that I had some Ibarra chocolate that was about to expire and instead of drinking copious amounts of hot chocolate, I decided to find a recipe that would at least use an entire bar. Enter this brownie recipe located at Baking Bites. I did some research on Mexican chocolate brownies before choosing this particular recipe which I chose for its simplicity. The batter came together in a snap. I put the brownies into the oven, got sidetracked and eventually realized I had completely missed hearing the buzzer go off on the oven. I was worried the brownies would come out hard as a rock.
Thankfully that wasn’t the case. The bottoms and edges of the brownies were a bit caramelized but the overall brownie was still moist. Despite the cooking time that stretched beyond what I had planned for, I still considered these brownies a success. It’s like marrying two of my favorite chocolates, Mexican hot chocolate and brownies.
- 1/2 c. butter
- 3.5 oz (1 tablet) Ibarra chocolate
- 2 T. dutch process cocoa powder
- 1 c. granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2/3 c. all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 c. bittersweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper and coat with cooking spray.
- In a medium-sized saucepan, melt butter and chocolate together. Stir with a whisk until completely smooth. Stir in cocoa powder and mix until fully incorporated.
- Whisk in sugar and vanilla extract. Add flour and salt to the bowl and stir to combine. Crack eggs into pot and mix until batter is uniform in texture. Fold in chocolate chips.
- Pour into prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Bake for about 35 minutes, until brownies set and a toothpick inserted into the middle of the pan comes out mostly clean (no batter, a few crumbs is OK). Cool in the pan completely before cutting and serving.