Better than Any Powdered Mix
Mexican hot chocolate is different than the powdered cocoa mixes we consume here in the U.S. In chocolate growing countries, many communities have a molino or mill that will grind the chocolate nibs into your house recipe, including the spices and amount of sugar that you like. Out of the electric mill comes an oily paste that is patted into disks, balls, or small cylinders which are then melted and whisked together with water or milk to make the perfect frothy mug of hot chocolate.
The most common ingredient included in these house recipes is cinnamon. Whole sticks are ground along with the chocolate, giving the paste a deeply floral perfume. Any time you see a box of commercial Mexican chocolate, it is understood that cinnamon is included in their list of ingredients.
A Classic Recipe
Because Mexican chocolate is less refined and more naturally presented than a European style chocolate candy bon-bon, the flavor of Mexican chocolate is very real. Connoisseurs of Mexican chocolate travel far and wide to taste the regional differences of natural, freshly ground chocolate. Just like a fine wine, natural chocolate always delivers the flavor of the land where it was grown.
I really love these Mexican Hot Chocolate Brownies, as they are fudgy and rich with real chocolate flavor. Adding a pinch of cayenne pepper for a hint of heat would be a spicy option. This is a classic recipe with a crispy top texture, and a deeply gooey center. Save me the chewy corner piece!
Mexican Hot Chocolate Brownies
- 2/3 cups all-purpose flour (80gr)
- 1 tbsp. cocoa powder (9gr)
- 1 cup granulated sugar (200gr)
- 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp. unsalted butter (at room temperature) (143gr)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract (5ml)
- 2 tbsp. warm water (30ml)
- 8–9 oz. Mexican chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate (225gr-250gr)
- 2 oz. walnuts or pecans (optional) (56gr)
- Heat oven to 350°F (176C°) Spray a 9”x 9” (23cm x 23cm) baking pan with cooking spray, and set aside.
- Sift together the flour and cocoa powder into a bowl, and set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, in a separate bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Add the eggs and vanilla extract, and continue to mix over medium speed for about 3 minutes.
- In a separate microwavable bowl, add the water and Mexican chocolate. Heat in the microwave on medium power until the chocolate is just melted, and not bubbling, about 2 minutes. If not completely melted, remove the bowl from the microwave, stir, and return to the microwave for 20-30 seconds.
- Using a spoon, fold the warm chocolate into the butter batter, and then fold in the sifted flour. Add the nuts, if desired. Do not overmix, but combine well. Pour the brownie batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes*, checking with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven, and allow to cool completely before cutting into squares.
*Increase your baking time to 50-60 minutes for a less fudgey, more cakey brownie.