Cake and brownie mixes can offer a lot of convenience when you need a foolproof treat quickly, and it’s not a bad idea to keep one in the back of your pantry. I’m usually a little more interested in seeing how upscale brownie mixes compare both to homemade and other box mixes, since I’ve been seeing more and more chocolate makers branch out into brownie and cake mixes. This Spicy Maya Brownie Mix is from Chuao Chocolatier, a San Diego-based artisan chocolate company. I happened to get this box as a gift from a friend who picked it up at a specialty retailer (though it’s sold online) because she knew that I had a soft spot for spicy chocolate treats.
These dark chocolate brownies are spiced with pasilla chilies, cayenne pepper and cinnamon, and you simply add melted butter and eggs to the mix before putting it into the oven. The brownies bake up to be thick and chewy, with a dense and fudgy center. The main ingredient is dark chocolate and you can really feel that in the density and richness of the brownies, which did remind me more of a bar of chocolate than a piece of chocolate cake. The chilies and spices are not too aggressive, but leave a lasting heat in your mouth that grows once you have taken a few bites.
I have to admit that I prefer my own Mexican Chocolate Brownies to these, but this mix is a good one that packs a lot of chocolate punch, a great consistency and a very unusual flavor (for a mix) into one package. They’re worth a try for a chocoholic and would make a great addition to a gift pack for chocolate lovers!