Monday, May 20, 2013

Mexican Chocolate Sourdough Brownies

Sourdough Surprises May 2013

Sourdough and Brownies are not a typical twosome, or so I thought. Now it appears that the food blogosphere is full of recipes pairing two of my favorite ingredients. You can even find a page of sourdough brownies on Pinterest, who knew? Interesting, unusual, but so what?  The WHAT is this month's cooking challenge at SourdoughSurprises featuring... you guessed it, sourdough and brownies. I'm in! What could be better than dark chocolate brownies? maybe dark chocolate brownies with a Mexican twist. Mexican chocolate drinks blend unsweetened chocolate with a hint of cinnamon and a bite of chile heat, so why not add those flavors to chocolate brownies? 

Photo: brownie ingredients - note the blue/green shells on the Polish chicken eggs
Photo: melted chocolate and butter wait for the remaining ingredients
Photo: corners pull away from the pan when brownies are fully baked
I began with a recipe from BakeNQuilt, who adapted it from WildYeast, and then I tweaked it a bit to add a minor Mexican note. The first batch was a pleasant surprise with a dense chocolatey texture, less sweet than most cloyingly sugary brownies, and more cakelike than I expected for a recipe with no extra flour beyond that in the half cup of sourdough starter. The chile is a backnote, subtle but noticeable, so for the chile sensitive you might serve a square with a dollop of whipped cream, sweetened crema, honey Greek yogurt or ice cream to temper the bite and add a touch more sweetness. For batch two I might adjust the quantity of chile and add a touch more sugar, or not. RL enjoyed them as baked and I'm still waiting for reports from the neighbors. Thank you, SourdoughSurprises, for launching this delicious challenge. 

Mexican Chocolate Sourdough Brownies

6 oz dark bittersweet chocolate (60%), broken into pieces

1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ancho chile
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chile
1 egg, beaten
1 egg white
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup sourdough starter, well-fed and rested
1/4 cup caramel bits or chopped nuts (optional) 
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F. (My oven runs cool so I used 350 F)
  2. Line an 8x8 baking dish with foil and butter the foil for easy removal of the brownie square.
  3. Place the chocolate and butter in a 4-cup microwave safe measuring cup. Melt in successive 30-second bursts, stirring after each interval. Be careful not to overheat and burn the chocolate. (I don't know what that does, but several recipes include that warning. I was careful to heat only until the chocolate lumps disappeared)
  4. Add the sugar, salt, vanilla and ancho and chipotle chile powders to the mix and stir briefly to incorporate.
  5. Add the egg and egg white and whisk to combine.
  6. Sift the cocoa powder into the mix and stir, not whisk, to combine. (Again, the warnings caution against whisking. This might change the texture of the brownie and not in a good way)
  7. Add the sourdough starter and stir in gently.
  8. Spread half of the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Scatter half of the caramel bits or nuts (if using) across the surface. Add the remaining batter and top with the remaining caramel or nuts. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, rotating pan half way through. Test in the center with a toothpick; it should come out clean or with very few crumbs. The corners of the brownie will also have pulled away from the pan.
  9. Cool for 20 minutes, then use the overhanging foil edges to lift to a baking rack. Cool completely before cutting into squares.


  1. Mmmm, I LOVE Mexican spiced chocolate anything - these are right up my alley!

  2. Ooh, those brownies look seriously chocolatey. I love love love the sound of chile heat. I can't believe I haven't tried before. Must remedy that.
    Anyway, they look beautiful!

  3. What a great idea, adding the delicious kick of spices to your sourdough brownies - I bet they tasted amazing!

  4. These look so moist and chewy! And I love the sound of sweet and spicy together!

  5. I think these brownies look really delicious!!

  6. Interesting! An brownie that bites back! ;)

  7. Amazing brownies! I love the whole "mexican" chocolate flavors, they go together so well! Your brownies look delicious! Thanks so much for baking with us!

  8. I really need to try the chocolate + chile combination. I will do that as soon as possible.

  9. These are some seriously rich looking brownies. Wowza!

  10. I was thinking of adding some cinnamon and cardamom to mine. I love the idea of a little chile in there too

  11. I saw your picture in the linky and knew your brownie was going to be amazing. Chiles - love them! Definitely a must-try.

  12. These brownies seriously look delicious! I need to try the chocolate + chili combo, with maybe a swirl of cream cheese too......Can we do this brownie challenge again, I'm in Brownie Heaven!!! Lynn @ Turnips 2 Tangerines

  13. I need to try this Mexican Chocolate variation, spice things up a bit! I see that we both have the same KAF sourdough crock:) I had so much fun, I can't wait to see what the next challenge is!!!

  14. Oooh, Mexican hot chocolate in Brownie form is simply genius! They look wonderful :)


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