Reddish brown in color and pungent yet sweet in flavor, cinnamon is a rather popular spice that warms the taste buds and adds an incredible amount of interest to even the most ordinary of dishes.
Although the aroma of cinnamon usually invokes visions of hot apple cider or freshly baked cinnamon buns, the spice can be used in a variety of interesting Mexican themed recipes including those for delicious desserts.
Cinnamon is often used in many different types of Mexican cuisine along with a selection of other flavorful spices and regularly appears in recipes for berbere, garam masala, and moles. Some of the other spices and flavors that pair perfectly with cinnamon include allspice, black or red pepper, cardamom, coriander, cumin, fennel, ginger, nutmeg, and vanilla.
One of the oldest known spices, cinnamon comes from the inner bark of the evergreen tree genus Cinnamomum. The bark is stripped, dried in the sun and curls into the familiar, curled shapes known as quills. Cinnamon can then be ground into powder form and used in all types of dishes including sweet desserts.
Different types of cinnamon are popular in various regions of the world. Cinnamomum burmannii, which is imported mostly from Indonesia, holds the distinction of being the most widely used type in the US. Saigon cinnamon, or Cinnamomum loureirii, is known as the finest type of the spice available while the uniquely flavored Cinnamomum zeylanicum imported from Sri Lanka is the cinnamon of choice throughout Europe.
In addition to its great taste, we now know that cinnamon offers health benefits as only recently it was discovered that the spice may play a role in lowering cholesterol and helping to curb diabetes.
Chocolate Chili Brownies Recipe
What You Need
- 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
- 2 sticks butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 tablespoons mild flavored chili powder
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup flour
- 2 cups walnuts, chopped
- Vanilla ice cream, optional
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Using a double boiler or the microwave, melt the unsweetened chocolate with half of the butter then allow it to cool.
While the chocolate is cooling, cream the other stick of butter with the sugar and vanilla in a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer on low speed. Increase the speed gradually while adding in the chili powder and cinnamon. Add the eggs individually mixing well after each one.
Grease and lightly flour the bottom and the sides of a 13 x 9 inch glass pan.
Add the cooled chocolate to the mixing bowl and blend well.
Combine the salt with the flour then add into the mixture. Mix on low speed until the batter is just blended together.
Stir the chopped walnuts then pour into the glass pan.
Bake the chocolate chili brownies for 25 minutes or until the center of a plastic knife or toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle.
Top each brownie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream just before serving if desired.
Christine Szalay-Kudra is an author, food expert and mom of four boys. She is the owner of the Recipe Publishing Network a group of sites dedicated to fine food and information for cooks. When not busy with her business you can find her sharing on one of these social networks at her own URL: http://www.recipepublishingnetwork.net/
Article Source: EzineArticles.com