25 October 2008
Mexican Hot Chocolate Iced Brownies
When summer arrived this year I celebrated by making an ice cream cupcake to enter in the Ice Cream Cupcake Roundup hosted by Cupcake Project and Scoopalicious. It was a wonderful cupcake. It was composed of a base layer of rich chocolate brownie laced with cinnamon and chile powder, a layer of PJ Madison's Organic Kashmir Cinnamon gelato style ice cream and a layer of Vanilla Cream Cheese frosting. It was a welcome treat on a hot summer’s day.
Now that fall is here I am less eager to indulge in frozen confections. Instead I crave warmer tastes and temperatures. Despite my shift of focus I still find myself thinking about how much I liked the Chile Variado Brownie base of those frozen cupcakes. With flavors so warm and bold, I started thinking how just a few minor adjustments might adapt that spicy brownie base into a delicious fall dessert. I decided to give my theory some room to run.
First I baked a pan of Chile Variado Brownies. I made them as directed in my Ice Cream Cupcake post except that I baked them in an 8” x 8” pan for approximately 30 -35 minutes instead of in cupcake liners.
I still wanted to frost them but I wanted the frosting to have more of a punch than the Vanilla Cream Cheese frosting I used in May. Remembering another entry in the ice cream cupcake roundup, a cupcake with a spicy chocolate cream cheese frosting made by Beantown Baker, I decided to make the flavor even bolder by carrying the spiciness through the frosting as well as the cake. The recipe called for chile powder as well as cinnamon and vanilla and seemed perfect for my brownies.
Still this dessert needed another element to add a note of contrast to the flavor and texture as well a hint of visual interest. Where my cupcake had a delicious layer of cinnamon ice cream to add a counterpoint to the spicy chocolate flavor of the brownie I needed something smooth and full of flavor to complete my thought. Looking around the kitchen I spied a bottle of Kahlúa and splashed a couple of tablespoons of this Mexican liqueur on a dessert plate. Then I drizzled the plate with Hershey’s syrup and placed a square of the iced brownie on top.
I have to say it was delicious. It was also quite easy. So give it a try, and if you don’t mind the cold, go ahead and add a scoop of PJ Madison's Cinnamon ice cream to make Iced Chile Variado Brownies a la mode.
Mexican Hot Chocolate Frosting
adapted from this recipe at Food Network
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder (or a mixture of ground chipotle and ancho chiles)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons espresso powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 - 4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
Beat cream cheese and butter together with an electric mixer until soft and fluffy.
Add the melted chocolate and vanilla. Mix well.
In a medium bowl combine the chile powder, cinnamon, espresso powder, salt, vanilla and confectioners' sugar.
Add the dry mixture, a little at a time, until it is a spreadable consistency.
Spread frosting on cooled Chile Variado Brownies.