Ibarra Chocolate Brownies Filled with Walnutella

Ibarra Chocolate Brownies with Walnutella

Ibarra Chocolate Brownies are really brownies with panache, not ganache. Ganache is made with equal amounts of melted chocolate and cream. The brownies I made today, to thank my friend Chris for helping me complete my move to WordPress, are filled with little puddles of  Walnutella, a chocolate spread I invented the other day using creamed walnuts, instead of cream, and mixed with melted Ibarra chocolate. It doesn’t count as ganache, as there is no cream, so I’ll call it panache instead.

My recipe for Ibarra Chocolate Brownies was inspired by Rose Levy Beranbaum’s recipe for Barcelona Brownies. I used Mexican Ibarra chocolate, less sugar to compensate for the extra sugar in the chocolate, and cinnamon for a mexicanismo flavor.

Chris was working on my blog, helping finalize the move, and he saw the brownie post from February while navigating. “You don’t have any of those around still, do you?” he asked. Nope. But I do now, and they are all yours.

Notes on Ibarra Chocolate:

Ibarra Chocolate, made by Chocolatera de Jalisco, is a common “table chocolate”, used for making the beverage, hot chocolate. In Mexico, it is found in almost every little grocery store; out of Mexico, you can find it in gourmet food stores and on the Mexican aisle of larger supermarkets. Ingredients are sugar, cocoa paste, soy lecithin and cinnamon.

According to Diana Kennedy, women of Oaxaca (and, I’m sure, other towns of southern Mexico) would take their cocoa beans to the local grinder and, using their own proportions of cocoa, sugar and almonds, would have their cocoa paste freshly ground. Then it would be a simple step to add the paste to hot water or milk for a cup of hot chocolate.

Today’s modern mexicana, pressed for time and preferring the fast and easy way, can buy Ibarra chocolate powder for making hot chocolate. Unfortunately, it contains artificial flavoring. Would the mujeres of Oaxaca disdain my use of store-bought chocolate tablets, as much as I disdain the use of powdered chocolate drink mix? Maybe.

Cocao seeds, ready to grind

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