Written by Vianney Rodriguez –
Today I want to share a Holiday that is very dear to my heart, Dia de Los Muertos know as Day of the Dead. A Mexican holiday that focuses on honoring the departed, their memories and how they have touched our lives. Our family celebrates this yearly tradition with a week long celebration of honoring our loved ones with a family altar. In our altar we place favorite family photos of our departed, papel picado, candy skulls, flowers and personal mementos. We celebrate with the dishes that pay homage to their memory.
My grandfather loved tamales of every kind with any filling. He would enjoy them fresh from the pot piping hot or grilled in their husk until crispy over a warm comal for breakfast. Today I want to honor him with a sweet tamale de chocolate y nuez. A chocolate based masa with a hint of chile and lightly sweetened with piloncillo. Filled with pecans and chocolate chips these tamales are almost as sweet as my grandfather, almost. Enjoy!
Tamales de Chocolate y Nuez
Ingredients for 18 tamales:
- 18 corn husks
- 2 cups masa harina, Maseca
- ⅓ cup NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Baking Cocoa
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground chile ancho powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 ¾ cups warm milk
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- ¾ cup piloncillo, grated
- 3 tablespoons warm milk
- 1 cup NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Morsels
- ½ cup chopped pecans
Prepare the corn husks: Place corn husks into a large heatproof bowl or stockpot. Cover the husk with enough boiling water to cover. Place a heatproof plate on the husks to keep them submerged. Soak for 1 hour.
In a large mixing bowl stir together masa harina, baking cocoa, baking powder, cinnamon, chile powder, and salt. Slowly add warm milk and beat until all the liquid is absorbed and semi-firm dough forms; remove dough shape into a ball and cover with lightly damp paper towels, set aside. In the same mixing bowl cream the butter and piloncillo until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula occasionally. Add masa harina dough to the mixer with creamed butter/piloncillo mixture. Continue to beat the dough, adding the warm milk one spoonful at a time to create soft creamy dough. If the dough is too wet beat in one tablespoon of masa harina at a time, you do not want your masa too crumbly. The chocolate masa will be the consistency of a brownie batter.
Spread chocolate masa about 1/2 inches thick on corn husk with spoon, leaving about ½ inch border along the sides and 2 inch border along the top and bottom of husk. Sprinkle with pecans and semi-sweet chocolate mini morsels and fold sides until they just overlap, fold narrow end under using the husk to press dough over filling. Place tamale folded side down and repeat. You can use thin strips of corn husks to tie the tamale together, although this is isn’t necessary.
Place the tamales in a large steamer upright. Fill the pot of water with only enough water to touch the steamer, about 2 inches. The water should not touch the tamales. Lay a damp cloth over the tamales and cover with lid. Keep the water at a low boil, checking the pot occasionally to make sure the water doesn’t boil away. Add more water as needed. Steam the tamales for 45-55 minutes.
Tamales are done when the inside pull away from the husk. The tamale should be soft, firm and not mushy.
|Zucchini & Corn Tamales||Nicaraguan Sweet Tamales|