The Royally Baked / Recipes  / Mayan Brownies

Mayan Brownies

So I was wrong, and apparently chocolate with chili is a Mexican thing... sort of. Mayans, who invented chocolate, consumed a drink called xocolatl which consisted of cocoa beans, chili and water. Xocolatl was a bitter drink because back in 900 A.D. sugar was not yet available to Central America, and it was enjoyed socially, very much like coffee is today. The word chocolate actually originates from the Nahuatl word "xocolatl", which translates literally to "bitter water or drink"

These brownies aren't ridiculously spicy, but you will feel a slight burn. The addition of orange and cinnamon add a nice warmth, that I usually associated with Christmas baking.



Mayan Brownies

Makes one 9x13" pan


Brownie Ingredients: 

  • ½ cup / 200 gm butter, cubed
  • ½ orange, zested
  • 1 cup / 200 gm dark chocolate, chopped (with chili pepper, if available)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1cup / 225 gm piloncillo, grated (or packed brown sugar)
  • 1 tsp / 5 ml vanilla extract
  • 1 cup / 150 gm flour, all purpose
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 14 tsp salt
  • 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ tsp crushed red chili flakes
  • ½ cup / 65 gm pecans, chopped


Ganache Ingredients: 

  • ⅔ cup / 160 ml cream
  • 225 gm chocolate, semi sweet
  • 14 cup / 60 ml coffee, brewed
  • 1 Tbsp / 15 gm butter




1. In a microwave safe bowl, melt together the butter, orange zest and chopped chocolate in 30 second bursts. Mix until all the chocolate has melted, set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, grated piloncillo and vanilla.

3.  Add the cooled chocolate mixture to the egg mixture, stir to combine. Set aside.

4. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cocoa powder, and chili flakes. Add chocolate mixture and stir until combine. Finally gentle fold in the pecans.

5. Pour brownie batter into a greased 9x13" pan.

6. Bake in a preheated 350F/180C for 20 - 25 minutes.

Making Ganache

1. Heat cream in the microwave until almost boiling (be careful because this can easily boil over in the microwave). Pour hot cream over chocolate, and let sit for a few of minutes.

2. Add your butter and coffee, whisk until smooth.

Once your brownies have cooled, pour the ganache on top. Let set before for 2 hours in the fridge before slicing and enjoying. ¡Buen provecho!


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