Monday, June 7, 2010

Barnacle Brownies (Baking Week #10)

One of my favorite things: my grandmother's cake plate. I'm told it was a wedding gift, which would make it ca. 1939. It's got a few dents, from years of use and multiple moves.  Usually it sits on top of my refrigerator, empty.  I love the embossed oak leaves and the wooden acorn handle.  It's marked, "Product of the West Bend Aluminum Company" on the bottom.

In deciding what to bake this week, I rummaged through the pantry.  I found a box of Ibarra Mexican Chocolate that I bought when it was still cold enough to want hot chocolate.  It is a combination of cocoa nibs, sugar and cinnamon pressed into round tablets that are divided into 8 wedges, wrapped and packaged in an hexagon shaped box.  It is usually melted with hot milk or water to make a convenience version of traditional Aztec and Mayan chocolate drinks.

It has good flavor, but the texture is coarse and quite gritty. Chocolate is chocolate, but in this case, the application of heat is essential. It seemed to have potential for a good batch of brownies.

Ibarra table chocolate: in the box, the tablet, with and without wrapper.

1/2 stick butter
3 tablets (about 3 oz each) Ibarra Mexican Chocolate
2 eggs
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 C flour
1/8 t salt
1/2 t cinnamon
pinch of cayenne

Melt butter and chocolate.  Let cool for a few minutes, then stir in vanilla.  Meanwhile, combine flour, salt cinnamon and cayenne in a small bowl, whisk to combine.  Beat eggs in medium bowl.  Add a spoonful of melted chocolate to the eggs, stirring thoroughly to combine.  Add remaining chocolate mixture, and stir to combine.  Add flour to chocolate and eggs.  Pour into buttered muffin tin and bake until your house smells like chocolate and the center is set to your liking, about 10 minutes.
Barnacle Brownies unveiled.
The Verdict
The brownies were chewy and pleasant without being overly sweet.  I think the recipe would benefit from a little more salt and cayenne.  And orange zest.  Also, I will take them out of the oven sooner. 

Dish Bitch
small pot for melting butter
2 bowls
measuring cup
muffin tin
disher (small ice cream/cookie scoop) to fill pan

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