Moist and decadent Mexican Brownies with a hint of heat to spice things up for Valentines Day!
These Mexican Brownies were inspired by a specialty chocolate shop in my town called The Chocolate Fetish. A locally owned business that makes utterly amazing chocolate truffles. We discovered The Chocolate Fetish shortly after moving to Asheville, and have since made plenty of excuses to stroll by its quaint downtown storefront.
My personal favorite truffle is the the Ancient Pleasures Truffle, a sexy fusion of dark chocolate and cayenne pepper.
This combination originated in Mexico long ago, and is still evident in many latin dishes like mole’. It is also thought to be an aphrodisiac. *wink*
The Ancient Pleasure Truffles inspired me to incorporate cayenne pepper into my favorite brownie recipe. The spicy heat plays so well with the deep smoky essence of chocolate. I then added instant coffee granules and cinnamon to round out these brownies, to have the flavor of authentic Mexican chocolate disks. Hence the name Mexican Brownies.
Let’s talk about brownie textures for a moment. Generally speaking, there are two types of brownie recipes. Those that use cocoa powder as the chocolate base, and those that use melted chocolate.
The use of cocoa generates a “cake-ier” brownie, while the melted chocolate version produces a dense “fudgier” brownie.
Personally, I like fudgy brownies… I usually only make cocoa style brownies when I’m using the brownies as a layer in dessert bars.
These fudgy Mexican Brownies are much more decadent than cocoa brownies. Yet the addition of spice balances the rich fudge flavor and texture marvelously!
If you are planning to stay in and cook for a special loved one this Valentine’s Day, these spicy little Mexican Brownies are a good way to finish your meal and create some sparks!
For the Brownies:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Melt the butter and baking chocolate together in the microwave or over a double-boiler. Allow to cool. Whisk eggs, sugar and vanilla together. Then once the chocolate has cooled a little, whisk the egg mixture and chocolate together.
- Stir in the flour, coffee granules, salt, cinnamon and cayenne. Once the batter is well combined, add the chocolate chips. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish. Pour the batter into the dish and bake for 35-40 minutes.
- Test the brownies with a toothpick—if it comes out mostly clean, take them out of the oven. The brownies continue to cook a little as they're cooling, but you don’t want them to be overcooked. Allow the brownies to cool completely. Cut into 24 squares. Clean the knife with a paper towel in between cuts to insure the edges are smooth.
- Mix 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon powdered sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper together. Using a sifter or small sieve, dust the brownies while they are still in the pan. Then carefully remove them with a spatula.