Feting Cinco De Mayo

I’m not one to normally celebrate Cinco de Mayo, as I’ve always seen it as another drinking in the U.S. (a la St. Patrick’s Day).  However, as part of the conversational Spanish class I’m taking at the local community college, we had a mini-celebration last week, and everyone had to bring a relevant dish.  I figured that there would be many bags of chips & jars of salsa, so I wanted to come up with something a bit more original.

Since I had given a presentation on Mexican chocolate the week before, I had two near full containers of Ibarra and Abuelita chocolate.  While the latter, a Nestle product, has a long list of non-organic sounding ingredients, the Ibarra is made of things you can pronounce (and actually tastes a bit nicer on its own).  With all this chocolate, I figured I could make brownies.  Most recipes I have call for cocoa, so I did some online research and found a scaled down version of the Barefoot Contessa’s brownies that didn’t require an enormous sheet pan.

Despite trying to account for baking at elevation and the differences in using Mexican chocolate instead of unsweetened, the brownies came out more fudgelike than brownielike.  The altitude, crappy oven, copious amounts of butter, lack of flour & baking times might have affected the outcome.  So I quickly renamed them ‘Mexican chocolate bites’ and my classmates, none the wiser, devoured them.

Mexican Chocolate Bites (adapted from the Barefoot Contessa)
2 sticks butter
6 ounces Ibarra chocolate
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate (I used Lindts 85% cocoa version, as I had no bakers chocolate)
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350.  Place rack in center of oven, grease & flour a 9×13 inch pan.

Melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water.  Let cool slightly.  In a large bowl whisk eggs, vanilla & sugar.  Whisk chocolate mixture into egg mixture.

In medium bowl blend flour, baking powder and salt.  Add to chocolate mixture.  Pour into pan and smooth to the edges.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until inserted toothpick comes out clear – do not overbake.  Allow to cool before cutting into squares.


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