Mexican hot chocolate is known for having a hint of spice that sets it apart from other types of hot chocolate, making it both distinctive and delicious. Ibarra is a brand of Mexican table chocolate that is primarily used to make amazing hot chocolate. The chocolate is packaged in a distinctive hexagonal yellow box and each tablet – there are several in each package – is also a hexagon. The chocolate is somewhat coarse in texture – not because it isn’t quality chocolate (it is!), but because it contains undissolved coarse sugar and cinnamon for flavoring.
If you haven’t tried it, you should pick up a box when you see it at the market and give it a try. If you have tried it, you should consider making a batch of these Ibarra Chocolate Brownies next time instead of – or in addition to – traditional hot chocolate.
This is a variation on my go-to brownie recipe that uses a generous amount of Ibarra chocolate, along with just a bit of cocoa powder, to make the batter. The chocolate should be melted slowly along with the butter, to ensure that all the sugar from the chocolate is completely incorporated. Because the Ibarra is sweeter than the dark or bittersweet chocolate that is often called for in brownie recipes, the finished brownies almost have a milk chocolate-like sweetness – but without any added dairy. While they are sweeter than some other brownies, they aren’t overly sweet and that extra sugar balances out the extra spiciness from the cinnamon very well. I also added a big handful of semisweet chocolate chips, so there is plenty of chocolate to go around in this recipe.
This recipe makes an 8×8-inch pan of brownies, but it can be doubled if you need to serve a crowd. Since the brownies are on the fudgier side, I recommend lining your pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil to ensure that you can easily remove them from the pan after they have cooled. Store leftover brownies in an airtight container for a couple of days to keep them fresh.
Ibarra Chocolate Brownies
1/2 cup butter
3.5 oz (1 tablet) Ibarra chocolate
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper and lightly grease.
In a small, heatproof bowl or a small saucepan, melt butter and chocolate together. Stir with a fork until very smooth. Stir in cocoa powder until fully incorporated. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs and vanilla extract. Pour chocolate mixture into sugar mixture and stir until smooth. Add flour and salt to the bowl and stir until just combined. 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 with only a few moist crumbs, not batter, attached.
Cool in the pan completely before slicing.
Makes 25 brownies.