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Gayla

Nov 7, 2004, 9:29 AM

Post #1 of 11 (1716 views)

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Mexican Chocolate

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Has anyone here devloped some methods for successfully incorporating Mexican chocolate into standard recipes for baking. I recently returned from Oaxaca with 3 kilos of MayorDomo chocolate, which is pretty good stuff (no Esperanza it's not quite as good as the stuff from Michoacan, but it's WAY better than the Ibarra or Abulelita available to me in San Diego <gg>).

I'm in the process of developing some dessert recipes using Mexican chocolate, but working with it is different than working with regular chocolate. Because of the sugar, cinnamon and ground nuts added to it, Mexican chocolate doesn't act the same as chocolate products without all the added extras.

Has anyone found a way to successfully melt Mexican chocolate? Perhaps in liquid? Coffee? Milk (well, duh, on this one)? Kahlua?

Because of the added sugar in the Mexican chocolate, do you decrease the amount of sugar in a recipe? If so, by how much?

Any way to avoid the graininess/grittiness that sometimes accompanies the finished product?

Does anyone have any dessert recipes using Mexican chocolate they'd be willing to share?

Last night I made a Mexican Chocolate Pecan Pie w/Mezcal Whipped Cream. I roughly chopped a bar (about 4 oz) of the Mayor Domo chocolate and put it in the bottom of an unbaked pie shell. Then I made up my standard pecan pie filling, making no adjustments to the sugar or dark Karo syrup . Since pecan pie has a tendency to be sweet I wanted to see if the extra sugar in the chocolate would affect the overall sweetness of the end product. Baked the pie as usual (well slightly overbaked this time).

For an experiment I was plesantly surprised at how well it turned out. It was only slightly sweeter than usual, and most people probably would not pick up the difference, especially with Mezcal whipped cream. There was more grittiness than I had expected, which tells me that all the sugar in the chocolate did not dissolve and incorporate into the pie filling. Also, the extra spices in the chocolate overpowered the delicate flavor of pecan pie. All these things are fairly easy to correct. Next time I'll try mixing the chocolate into the pie filling so that it can dissolved, rather than just putting it in the bottom of the pie shell and hoping the baking process melts it. I may try the same recipe but use walnuts or pine nuts as a better foil for the cinnamon and spices instead of pecans.

Clearly, Mexican chocolate can not be substituted one-for-one in most baking recipes, so what methods do you all have to get around this?



Caarina12

Nov 9, 2004, 11:11 AM

Post #2 of 11 (1680 views)

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Re: [Gayla] Mexican Chocolate

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Gayla,

I'm in San Diego as well, and have used Mexican chocolate in baking. I used the Mexican chocolate/coffee ganache in the book Seasons of My Heart by Susana Trilling as an icing for a vanilla cake. If you'd like, I can post it.

I'd love to hear your further experiments with baking and Mexican chocolate. A very yummy proposition it is!

I'm trying to change my Thanksgiving menu to incorporate more Mexican ingredients. My pumpkin pie recipe is getting a major overhaul with piloncillo and nueces garapiñados for the topping.


Caarina12

Nov 17, 2004, 12:49 PM

Post #3 of 11 (1639 views)

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Re: [Caarina12] Mexican Chocolate

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I just came across this recipe using Mexican chocolate

Mexican Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars
by Rick Bayless from the book Salsas that Cook

Makes 24 bars
2 1/2 cups (about 10 ounces) pecan halves
1 cup (about 6 ounces) finely chopped Mexican chocolate (such as the widely available Ibarra brand)
6 ounces (about 6 to 8 slices) fresh white bread, preferably cakey sandwich bread (like Pepperidge Farm), broken into large pieces
1 cup (8 ounces) melted butter, plus extra for coating the pan
A generous 3/4 teaspoon salt
5 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped into pieces not larger than 1/4-inch
3 tablespoons flour
4 large eggs
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup corn syrup, preferably dark (or you can use a mixture of corn syrup and molasses, sorghum, Steens cane syrup or most any of the other rich-flavored syrups that are on the market)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Powdered sugar for garnish
Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Spread the pecans on a baking sheet. Bake until richly browned and toasty smelling, about 10 minutes. Let cool, then scoop into the food processor and coarsely chop by turning the machine on and off. Remove about 1 1/2 cups of the nuts and put in a large bowl to use in the filling. Add half of the Mexican chocolate to the nuts in the food processor and pulse the machine to mix them. Add bread slices; process until everything is fairly fine crumbs. Add 1/3 cup of the melted butter and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Process just to moisten everything. (Lacking a food processor, you can chop each item separately with any other appliance or gadget you deem appropriate, then combine them in a bowl with the melted butter and salt.)
Liberally butter a 13x9-inch baking pan, then evenly pat in the crumb crust mixture. Refrigerate while you make the filling.
Add the remaining half of the Mexican chocolate, the chopped semisweet chocolate and the flour to the bowl with the reserved pecans. In the food processor (you don’t even need to clean it), mix the eggs and sugar until well combined. Add the corn syrup, pulse a couple of times, then add the remaining 2/3 cup of melted butter, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt and all the vanilla. Process to combine thoroughly, then pour over the pecan filling mixture, stir well and scrape everything into your crust-lined pan.
Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until the bars have pulled away slightly from the side of the pan. Let cool to room temperature before cutting into 2 inch-squares, dusting with powdered sugar and arranging on an attractive serving platter.


Caarina12

Nov 17, 2004, 12:51 PM

Post #4 of 11 (1637 views)

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Re: [Caarina12] Mexican Chocolate

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Here's another recipe w/Mexican Chocolate

Pay de nuez y chocolate
by Rick Bayless
Makes one 10-inch pie, serving 12
For the crust:
1 1/2 cups (6 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour (measured by scooping and leveling)
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) chilled, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch bits
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening or rich-tasting lard, chilled, and cut into 1/2-inch bits
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg yolk, beaten slightly
For the filling:
2 cups (about 6 ounces) pecan halves (make sure they’re fresh and richly flavorful)
6 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (6 ounces) room temperature, unsalted butter
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
5 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup molasses
1 1/2 tablespoons Kahlúa or brandy
2 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
About 2 cups Sweetened Whipped Cream flavored with Kahlúa, for serving
1. The dough. Measure the flour, butter and shortening (or lard) into a bowl or a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Quickly work the fats into the flour with a pastry blender or by pulsing the food processor until the flour looks a little damp (rather than powdery) but tiny bits of fat are still visible. If using the food processor transfer the mixture to a bowl. Mix together the sugar, salt and 3 tablespoons of ice water. Using a fork, little by little work the ice-water mixture into the flour mixture. The dough will be in rough, rather stiff clumps; if there is unincorporated flour in the bottom of the bowl, sprinkle in a little more ice water and use the fork to work it together. Press the dough together into a flat disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 12-inch circle. Transfer to a deep 10-inch glass pie pan (I find it easiest to roll the dough onto the rolling pin, then unroll it onto the pie pan). Decoratively crimp the edge and trim off the excess dough. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. Prebaking the crust. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil a 15-inch piece of foil and lay it, oiled-side down, into the crust (heavy duty foil is too stiff to work here); press down to line the crust snugly. Fill with beans or pie weights and bake about 15 minutes, until beginning to brown around the edges. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Carefully remove the beans (or weights) and foil, return the crust to the oven and bake 8 to 10 minutes, until it no longer looks moist. (If it bubbles at this point, gently press it down with the back of a spoon.) Brush the beaten egg yolk over the crust, then let cool completely.
3. The nuts and chocolate. While the crust is cooling, spread the pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet and lightly toast in the oven until fragrant, about 10 minutes. Cool, then break into small pieces and transfer to a large bowl. Chop the chocolate into rough, 1/2-inch pieces and add to the bowl, along with the flour. Stir until everything is well coated.
4. The filling. In a food processor (or in the large bowl of an electric mixer), cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes in the food processor, 5 minutes in the mixer. With the machine still running, add the eggs one at a time, letting each be completely incorporated before adding the next. Beat in the corn syrup, molasses, Kahlúa or brandy, vanilla and salt.
5. Baking. Pour the filling over the chocolate and pecans and stir well to combine. Pour the mixture into the prebaked pie shell, set onto the lower shelf of the oven and bake at 350º until a knife inserted into the center is withdrawn clean, about 1 hour. Cool completely on a wire rack. Serve slices of the pie at room temperature or slightly warm, topped with a dollop of Kahlúa-spiked, sweetened whipped cream.


Gayla

Nov 17, 2004, 2:15 PM

Post #5 of 11 (1625 views)

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Re: [Caarina12] Mexican Chocolate

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Caarina, I've actually spent a week cooking with Rick Bayless. He really is very nice. I've also made both the recipes that you posted. Both are very good, but I liked the pecan bars a little better than the pecan pie.

I have perfected the Mexican Chocolate Pecan Pie to the point where it isn't grainy. Here's the recipe.

1 ea. Unbaked 9" pie shell

3 ea. Eggs, large
1/2 Cup Sugar, granulated
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/3 Cup Butter, melted (and you've got to use real butter, no margarine)
1 Cup Dark Karo Syrup
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
4 oz Mexican Chocolate, chopped into smallish pieces

1 Cup Pecans halves, toasted

1. Whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar, salt, melted butter and the dark Karo. Mixture will be thick but pourable and somewhat grainy.
2. Stir in the chopped chocolate and let the mixture sit for a minimum of 5 minutes and up to 15 minutes so that the sugar in the Mexican chocolate has a chance to dissolve.
3. Lightly fold the pecan halves into the filling until just combined.
4. Pour the filling into the pie shell and make sure that the pecan halves are (more or less) evenly distributed over the top of the pie.
5. Bake in a 375* oven for about 45 minutes. The pie may jiggle a little, but will set up as it cools.

Notes -

- Make sure to toast the pecan halves. This will release the volatile oils in the nuts and deepen their flavor as well as enhancing the nutty flavor of the pie.

- This pie works best with some good quality Mexican chocolate and that doesn't really include the Abuelita or Ibarra most easily found in the U.S. I used Major Domo Chocolate in testing this pie. Major Domo is from Oaxaca and is really quite good. It can be found on-line through Chocosphere and I think MexGrocer is now carrying it. Susana Trilling is selling her chocolate de metate through Zingerman's on-line, but it's $15/lb.

And speaking of Susana Trilling I have a Chocolate Bread Pudding recipe with Tuna Salsa that uses her choclate de metate. This is to die for good, but I, unforutnatley, have not been able to replicate it here in San Diego because I haven't been able to get the right kind of bread. I'm close, but no cigar yet.

Mexican chocolate does not melt well on it's own, but I have discovered that if you melt some other good quality chocolate (like Valhrona or Sharfenberger <although some people don't think Sharfenberger is that hot>) and then put the Mexican chocolate in that, it will melt. You can also melt it in a bit of hot coffee or Kahlua. Being able to melt the Mexican choclate now makes brownies an option :-)


esperanza

Nov 17, 2004, 3:22 PM

Post #6 of 11 (1619 views)

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Re: [Gayla] Mexican Chocolate

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About a year ago I made a flourless chocolate cake using chocolate de metate from Pátzcuaro in place of the chocolate called for in the original recipe. I did correct--just a little--the sugar content in the recipe to compensate for the sugar already in the chocolate.

Now I can't remember which flourless chocolate cake recipe I used. What I do remember is that my guests took a bite, put down their forks, rolled their eyes, and then ate almost all of the thing at table--and drew straws to take the rest home. I believe it was a success.

If I get a lightning bolt of retrieved memory, I'll post the recipe here.




http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









NEOhio

Nov 17, 2004, 4:33 PM

Post #7 of 11 (1615 views)

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Chocolate and tuna???

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Hi, Gayla have enjoyed your postings on www.chowhound.com and like looking thru the Mexican Kitchen posts.

Did you say "Chocolate Bread Pudding with Tuna Salsa" is to die for? Does that mean good, or does it kill you? LOL

It is really difficult to imagine that combo, I am curious to read the recipe.


Gayla

Nov 17, 2004, 5:02 PM

Post #8 of 11 (1612 views)

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Re: [NEOhio] Chocolate and tuna???

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In Spanish tunas are prickly pear cactus :-))

I'm just leaving work. I have the recipe on my computer at home. I'll post it later tonight. I should be able to do a cut and paste pretty easily. It calls for bolillos or pan de yema. I've tried a couple of different substitutes for bolillos that haven't yield the texture I'm looking for. Pan de yema is similar to Challa, so maybe I'll try that next.

Hmmm.........I have a whole bunch of ideas for giving Thanksgiving dishes a Mexican twist. Maybe I'll post those tonight too.............


NEOhio

Nov 17, 2004, 7:30 PM

Post #9 of 11 (1601 views)

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Re: [Gayla] Chocolate and tuna???

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Ha, ha, ha, I am laughing at myself. Now it makes sense...


Gayla

Nov 17, 2004, 8:44 PM

Post #10 of 11 (1589 views)

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Budin de Chocolate con Salsa de Tunas

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Okay, here ya'll go, Susana Trilling's Chocolate Bread Pudding recipe. Cut and paste didn't work so I've had to type it out the long way. Don't let the length of the recipe deter you, it's definitely not as hard, or as time consuming, as it might seem.

Budin de Chocolate Oaxaqueno
Oaxacan Chocolate Pudding
Yield: 12 ea/6 oz. Ramekins

1/2 Cup Raisins (dried cranberries can also be used)
1/3 Cup Mezcal, Kahlua, other liquor or fruit juice
3 1/2 Cups Bolillos or pan de yema, cubed
1 Lb. Chocolate, Oaxacan, broken into pieces
1/2 Cup Coffee, strong
3 ea Eggs, large
1 Cup Heavy Cream
1/2 Cup Sour Cream
1/4 Cup Sugar, granulated
1 tsp Vanilla, Mexican
1/4 tsp Cinnamon, grd., preferrably Mexican Canela

1. Place the raisins in a small mixing bowl and add the Mezcal (or whatever liquid you're using). Soak for 1 hour. Do NOT drain
2. Spread the bread cubes on a baking sheet and bake in a 350* oven for about 10-15 mintues, or until lightly toasted. Set aside and turn off oven
3. Place the chocolate in a double boiler over medium heat and begin melting. When the chocolate becomes pasty, add the coffee. Reduce the heat to a bare simmer and continue to cook until the chocolate is melted. (Be careful with this step. Use the double boiler method and keep the water at a simmer. I've had the chocolate seize at this step)
4. Put the eggs, heavy cream, sour cream, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon in a medium bowl and whisk until well blended.
5. Stirring the egg mixture constinuously, whisk in the melted chocolate/coffee mixture. Blend thoroughly.
6. Add the raisins AND their soaking liquid. Stir to combine.
7. Stir in the toasted bread cubes until well coated. Set aside at room temperature until the bread has completely soaked up the chocolate mixture. This will take about 2 hours. Can be made ahead to this point.
8. Preheat oven to 325*
9. Divide the pudding among 12 ea 6 oz. buttered ramekins. Fill each one about 3/4 of the way full. Place in a baking pan large enough to hold them without touching.
10. Place the baking pan in the oven and fill with boiling water so that it comes half-way up the sides of the ramekins.
11. Bake until the puddings are fully set byt still moist, about 35 minutes. Remove baking pan from oven and remove the ramekins from the baking pan and water. Set on a rack to cool.
12. After 15 minutes they can be unmolded.


Salsa de Tuna

1 3/4 Cup Red tuna puree (or other fruit such as mango, raspberries or strawberry)
1 Cup Mandarin orange juice
2 Tbls. Sugar, granulated
1-2 Tbls. Cointreau

1. In a saucepan over medium heat reduce the mandarin orange juice and the sugar until it equals 3 oz of liquid. Set aside to cool.
2. When the orange juice has cooled, stir it into the fruit puree along with the Cointreau

This will keep in the fridge for about 2 days.

To Assemble

Whipped Cream or Creme Fraiche to which some Mexican Vanilla has been added.

Spoon some of the salsa de tuna onto the bottom of each serving plate. Place and unmolded chocolate pudding in the center of the salsa and decoratively top with some of the whipped cream. Dust with some additional grated Mexican chocolate. Granish the plate with flowers and serve immediately.

Notes --

1. If you only have access to Abuelita or Ibarra Mexican chocolate the Abuelita works better than the Ibarra. Regional Mexican chocolate is superior to either of these and chocolate de metate is the best.
2. I've used Country-style hearth breads in place of the bolillos and they are too dense. An Italian Pugliase with the crust removed works reasonably well.
3. Be sure to let the bread cubes soak for at least 2 hours, it's a critical step in the recipe.
4. I've made this recipe using dried cranberries and I thought it was better than the raisins. I've also made it using apple juice instead of liquor.






gbatrucks


Nov 18, 2004, 8:36 AM

Post #11 of 11 (1560 views)

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Re: [Gayla] Mexican Chocolate

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Gayla,

Im a great fan of Rick & have been to his restaurant in Chicago. His "Authentic Mexican" book is my kitchen bible & here in Phoenix we can get most of the ingredients he calls for. I look forward to doing this pie for Turkey Day with the addition of my favorite "secret ingredient"....a splash of Jack Daniels whiskey. I've done this often with regular pecan pies..should be interesting with the Mexican chocolate.
"The trouble with life is there's no background music."
 
 
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