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Mexican chocolate and sugar


Darienne
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A friend brought me two huge 'care' boxes of Mexican ingredients, including several small hexagonal boxes of Ibarra chocolate and some piloncillo by San Patricio and some dehydrated cane juice by Canamelao.

Hot chocolate is made from the chocolate, but what else can I use it for? It's certainly incredibly gritty in texture.

And the brown sugars. There would be specific desserts to make with them?

Thanks for the help.

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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I've used Mexican chocolate most recently in an ice cream and a mole. The piloncillo makes appearance in many Mexican dessert and drink recipes: as an example, if you have Kennedy's "Essential Cuisines of Mexico" you might try Café de olla (coffee with cinnamon and brown sugar). According to EatYourBooks.com I have fifteen recipes that specifically call for piloncillo, between my Kennedy and Bayless books.

Chris Hennes
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chennes@egullet.org

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I've used Mexican chocolate most recently in an ice cream and a mole. The piloncillo makes appearance in many Mexican dessert and drink recipes: as an example, if you have Kennedy's "Essential Cuisines of Mexico" you might try Café de olla (coffee with cinnamon and brown sugar). According to EatYourBooks.com I have fifteen recipes that specifically call for piloncillo, between my Kennedy and Bayless books.

Thanks for the answers.

I revisited your posts on the ice cream and mole. I don't have the book, but can get it by ILL when I hit Moab. I went to the library catalog and they carry a fair number of Mexican and southwest cookbooks.

Kennedy's Mexican Cooking is in our local library and I own Bayless' Mexican Kitchen. This is deepest Canada where I live.

I see that Bayless has a recipe for 'Modern Mexican Chocolate Flan', p. 390-91. Calls for Mexican chocolate. I assume that the type I have is what he is talking about? And a later recipe, 'Crunchy Amaranth Tart' calls for piloncillo in the crust. Got it. Could fill the tarts with the Aztec Hot Chocolate Ice cream. Still have some in the freezer from last weekend. It's not everyone who appreciated this ice cream...although those who liked it really loved it.

I'll try these out. I'll find what I need no doubt...just wanted some eG feedback and encouragement. Thanks.

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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A friend brought me two huge 'care' boxes of Mexican ingredients, including several small hexagonal boxes of Ibarra chocolate and some piloncillo by San Patricio and some dehydrated cane juice by Canamelao.

Hot chocolate is made from the chocolate, but what else can I use it for? It's certainly incredibly gritty in texture.

And the brown sugars. There would be specific desserts to make with them?

Thanks for the help.

I spent some time a few years ago trying to bake with Mexican chocolate with mixed success. A lot depends upon the variety of Mexican chocolate you've got, they are definitely not created equal :wink: Ibarra and Abuelita are the 2 most common brands available to those of use NOB. They've got a good bit of sugar, more than some of the Mexican brands I've tried. Here are some of the observations I had when working with any of the Mexican chocolates

1) Because of the sugar in the chocolate, the amount of the sugar in the recipe needs to be decrease anywhere form 2-4 tablespoons to compensate for the sugar in the chocolate

2) Mexican chocolate will not melt very well in the microwave

3) Mexican chocolate will not melt in ganache fashion (i.e. pour hot liquid over chopped chocolate)

4) Mexican chocolate will melt on the stove top if it is in another liquid such as coffee or melted butter

5) Mexican chocolate has a tendency to sieze and does not smooth out

6) It's easier to chop Mexican chocolate with a chefs knife than food processor or blender

The best success I had with incorporating Mexican chocolate into a recipe was using it in brownies

Piloncillo is great and it's easy to work with. Think of it as really hard brown sugar. DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT attempt to break it down in a food processor or blender. I can almost guarantee you will have to buy a new work bowl or blender jar if you do. This stuff is almost as hard as diamonds, but luckily a lot less expensive :biggrin: . It melts pretty readily in most liquids. Some recipes do call for a volume amount(a few tablespoons or cups). In that case I just stick a cone of it in a zip lock bag and pound on it with a hammer until I get as much as needed in the recipe. If the piloncillo is fairly fresh it will eventually crumble. If it's been around a while and dried out even more, it takes a lot more pounding.

In addition to using it in cafe de olla, various other drinks and moles, there is one use that I really, really like, and that is to rehydrate dried chiles. Dissolve some piloncillo in some warm/hot water. Then toast some ancho or pasilla chiles (moritas or guajillos would work, but the anchos or pasillas are the best choice because their skin is thinner)and soak them in the piloncillo water for 20-25 mintues. You kind of get the spicy sweet thing going. Chile rehydrated this way are really good stuffed with beef or pork, not so much with poultry or vegetarian.

Edited by kalypso (log)
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I grate Mexican chocolate discs with a coarse wood rasp. Not one of the microplane types but a regular solid metal rasp with big, sharp teeth, working around the edges and holding the disc with a vice grip (one that is dedicated to the kitchen.

This works better than any other method, unless you have a very coarse volcanic stone metate.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Rick Bayless has a Mexican Chocolate Strusel Cake in one of his cookbooks, I can't remember which one tho'. It uses a lot of Mexican Chocolate. I've made this cake several times and it's pretty good. It makes a big cake and is great for a party or pot luck. Best warm with ice cream :rolleyes:

Here's a link to the recipe - http://www.fronterakitchens.com/cooking/recipes/recipe_streusel.html

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We drink a lot of Mexican hot chocolate, and perhaps up there in cold Canada, you'll find you're going through it more quickly than you expected. We make it with hot water brought just to the simmer (remember "Like Water for Chocolate"?), pour it into the mug, and then top it with whipped cream.

Also, although it doesn't use much, I put a bit of it into my chili recipe. For every pound of meat, I usually put in a chunk of chocolate that corresponds to about a quarter-wedge of an Abuelita disc.

Not sure exactly how much that is - I just eyeball it with other brands that don't come in those discs (like Mayordomo) - but think it's perhaps about a tablespoonful.

Although again, you won't go through much of it this way - unless, of course, you make a lot of chili.

____________________

Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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For drinking chocolate, I have been buying the Ibarra finely ground chocolate.

It has the traditional taste but is much easier to prepare.

HPIM2861.JPG

I also have the Abulita brand but the Ibarra is much more to my taste.

I also have been "steeping" a dried chile pepper (slightly crushed) in the water before adding it to the chocolate.

That little extra "zing" is very good.

I got the idea from one of my Mexican neighbors who served it last year at a Day of the Dead party. Her versions was a little too spicy for me but I added some milk and nuked it to reheat it and it was then perfect for my taste.

It is very nice on a cold, wet day. (We don't have that right now but it will come.)HPIM2861.JPG

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Such a lot of excellent advice.

I now have two recipes for the chocolate ice cream and will compare them before starting out. No doubt I'll go for a cornstarch base anyway.

As for the cake...now that intrigues me. Have company coming tomorrow...what else is new?...and just might make it this afternoon. Except perhaps for the fact that the frozen north is hot and humid today where we live. :raz:

Thanks, all. :smile:

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Made the chocolate ice cream from the recipe which Rancho Gordo sent me...thank you, sir...with the usual mucking about which I do.

DH and all others takers loved it. It was good.

I found it a tad less deep in chocolate flavor than I would have wanted it...but that could well be my doing. When you mess around with a recipe, you cannot blame the recipe for not turning out as you might wish.

On the other hand, it could also be the chocolate. Mexican chocolate, as interesting as it may be, is not 70% dark bittersweet Belcolade either nor is it trying to be.

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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  • 2 months later...

Late to chime in, but I also prefer Ibarra - until now. Came home from Morelia with De La Calle Real and that's really much nicer.

I like to drink most of my Mexican chocolate, but I have chunked it up for cookies with good success, and I like it in banana bread, especially with the hint of cinnamon.

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If you stil need ideas for the Ibarra, I just recently found a recipe on the Webs for Kahlua and Ibarra truffles. I'm going to make them for Christmas, so I, at this point, don't have a 1st hand review. It sounds wonderful, though.

If you're interested, PM me and I'll send you the recipe. I didn't copy the source when I cherry-picked it (BAD Pierogi), so I can't give credit where credit is due.

--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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Late to chime in, but I also prefer Ibarra - until now. Came home from Morelia with De La Calle Real and that's really much nicer.

If you're ever fortunate enough to have a little shopping time in Oaxaca, bring home as much Mayordomo as you can manage. Although every area in Mexico seems to produce their own version of chocolate, many folks believe Mayordomo to be the best.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I was given three pieces of chocolate by my neighbor, who stopped in Mexico (don't know where) on a cruise. I happen to work where there are a significant number of Hispanics working, quite a few of them from Mexico. I asked three of them about this chocolate, and none of them could help me, though one said he'd ask his wife.

I shaved a bit off the end of one of these and tasted it. It was unsweetened.

My neighbor says it's for hot chocolate, but had no idea how to use it.

Has anyone ever seen such a critter?

Mexican chocolate.JPG

Tracy

Lenexa, KS, USA

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Tracy, I think you've got chocolate de metate. If so, that would be chocolate that was fround from bean to finished product on the metate. I've seen it shaped in bars, balls and discs, so why not a cylinder like you've got. If there is no sweetener in it that you can discern, nor almond or cinnamon, you can use it pretty much like you would use any bittersweet or unsweetened chocolate.

How big a piece did you taste? If it was a good sized little hunk and you tasted no seasoning, you can use it in baked goods calling for unsweetened or bittersweet chocolate. It may not melt as well as some of the products we're used to NOB. It will, however, probably melt in a hot liquid such as milk, water, coffee or liquor.

It was most likely made to be a drinking chocolate and making hot chocolate with it is probably your best bet. To do that simply heat as much water (or milk) as you'd like until simmering or boiling. Lower heat and begin adding pieces of the chocolate and whisking until melted/dissolved. Taste and adjust seasoning by adding sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves or whatever, it's your choice here. Keep adding chocolate until you get the taste and consistency that you want. Transfer mixture to a blender and whip on high until frothy and aerated. (Start the blender on low and leave the lid a little bit ajar so that the hot liquid doesn't blast the top off when you turn on the blender). Pour into cups or mugs for service. There aren't any hard and fast ratios for making hot chocolate from Mexican chocolate. Many of the boxes indicate 6-8 oz of water per disc or bar of chocolate. My personal experience with it has been that it takes more chocolate than you'd think to get the chocolate where you want it.

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Tracy, I think you've got chocolate de metate...

How big a piece did you taste? ...

Cool, thanks! I tasted a very little bit of it. Just enough to be able to tell it's not bitter, but not sweetened, either.

I'll try some hot chocolate and see how it goes.

Tracy

Lenexa, KS, USA

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Well, I tried it this morning. I added too much sugar, and tried it with hot water. I didn't get it very frothy.

Other than the excess of sugar, it tastes pretty good, if a bit gritty. I had to use a whole one of those pieces.

Tracy

Lenexa, KS, USA

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The chocolate de metate is the traditional version of Ibarra, Abuelita, Mayordomo (if you can find it here, etc). The different brands have varying amounts of sugar, cinnamon, and sometimes almonds or even coffee ground up in them. If you are lucky enough to be in a market region in Mexico where they have molinos and grind chocolate, you can customize your mix ... and control the sugar content.

That said, Mexican chocolate de mesa is made from toasted, hulled,and ground cacao beans. Of course it won't work for ganache: it is not conched, plus it has actual ground things in it (cinnamon, etc)rather than infusions of those flavors. It can be crumbled and used in cakes, tea breads, cookies, etc. You probably should reduce the sugar a bit when you use it. Any recipe that requires European couverture chocolate for its execution will not deliver the expected results if you use chocolate de mesa. Rather, use it for the chocolate in a génoise, then infuse the glazing or filling ganache with cinnamon, etc. and fill or pour it over the cake.

This chocolate is really designed for use in hot chocolate made with water (traditional) or milk. You really need a wooden molinillo with the loose rings around its head and lower shaft to raise the foam properly. It requires a LOT of rapid twirling between the palms. The foam is considered to be the "soul" or "spirit" of the cacao, and as such, sacred. Foamy chocolate is a big deal in rural areas.

Also, it is the classic chocolate for mole, and I have even used it in making hasenpfeffer, and to great success.

Have fun with it!!!

Regards,

Theabroma

Sharon Peters aka "theabroma"

The lunatics have overtaken the asylum

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