The chocolate adventure continues this week with my Food Network Magazine Year of Chocolate challenge. Last time, we focused on March’s Double Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding. This time around, I’m actually skipping April’s selection and moving straight to May’s Mexican Chocolate Brownie Sundaes — the reason being I’m saving April’s for a special occasion you’ll find out about soon enough. So Mexican brownies it is for now! Brownies are actually one of my top favorite chocolate food items. I love the combination of a flaky crust with gooey center (never dry). Combine that with some ice cream, whipped cream and assortment of other goodies and you’re set. So if you’re ready to dive into another indulging chocolate recipe, read ahead and enjoy!
● 2 sticks butter
● 8 ounces semisweet chocolate (chips if possible)
● 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate (chips if possible)
● 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
● 3/4 cup granulated sugar
● 4 eggs
● 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
● 2 cups flour
● 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus a pinch
● 3/4 cup cold heavy cream
● Pinch of cayenne pepper
● Toppings: Dulce de leche ice cream, shaved chocolate, toasted almonds
1. Chocolatey goodness. Before you begin, make sure to preheat your oven to 325 degrees and line an 8-inch square baking dish with aluminum foil coated with cooking spray, leaving an overhang to easily pull out the brownies. Start this recipe off by chopping up your semisweet and unsweetened chocolate if you bought bars. I ended up having to get an unsweetened chocolate bar, but it’s much easier to just use the chip versions, in my opinion. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter and chocolate until everything is combined, smooth and creamy. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
2. The filling. In a large mixing bowl, combine the melted chocolate, dark brown sugar and granulated sugar with a whisk until somewhat smooth again. Continue by adding the eggs and almond extract until the eggs are completely beaten. Finally, add in the flour and cinnamon, doing it in batches if you have to. Once you start putting in these dry ingredients, the batter will start looking more like the box brownie recipes we’re all so used to making ourselves. The mixture should be thick and gooey once everything is combined and all the ingredients are in place. It’s usually at this point that I eat a little of the batter for myself, but with four eggs in this recipe, I would not recommend it this time around.
3. Baking time! Pour the brownie batter into the baking dish lined with foil and covered in cooking spray (don’t forget that part!) Also, make sure to spread out the mixture into an even layer in the dish so everything cooks the same. Bake the brownies for about 30 to 35 minutes or longer. Basically if you stick a knife in the center, it should come out clean. On a side note, make sure you actually cook these longer than you normally would the box brownies. I usually like leaving my brownies ooey and gooey on the inside, but you definitely want to make sure these scratch-made brownies are cooked through all the way. Otherwise it just tastes like your eating raw batter and not fluffy goodness.
4. The toppings. In another large bowl, combine the heavy cream and a pinch of cayenne paper and cinnamon. Beat the ingredients with a hand mixer for about 2 minutes, until soft peaks begin to form and hold their shape. The mixture should begin to take on the appearance of a typical whipped cream, if that helps out any. Also, the aroma from the cinnamon and cayenne paper really gives this whipped cream an added touch and definitely screams Mexican flavor.
And there you have it! Just top your brownie slice with some of that delicious whipped cream and your set. For a final touch, add some dulce de leche ice cream, shaved chocolate and/or toasted almonds. The cinnamon and cayenne pepper really sets these Mexican brownies apart from your typical box recipe. Without a doubt, this dessert is unique, easy and most importantly delicious. ¡Buen apetito!
To see the original version of this recipe, click here.