For Cinco de Mayo, we found a great guest post for Chocolate Picnic!
Using Chocolate in Mexican Desserts
Chocolate is a Mexican staple and the Aztecs used it both as currency and food. They used to combine it with seeds, honey, spices and nuts to make delicious drinks which were enjoyed by noblemen and used in rituals by Aztec priests. Chocolate can be traced even further back, to the Mayan times.
The Spanish explorers took chocolate to Spain with them and it became the official drink of the king. Around the turn of the nineteenth century, hot chocolate was made with sugar and milk in Europe and this mixture evolved into the hot chocolate we know and love today.
Before then, hot chocolate was rather a bitter flavored drink rather than a sweet one. A lot of porcelain manufacturers at the time began making special ranges cups and pots just for hot chocolate because of its popularity.
Mexican Chocolate Drinks
Chocolate is used in Mexican dessert recipes but it is also used to make a variety of drinks. Since Mexican chocolate drinks are so thick and sweet, they can count as desserts too.
A wooden whisk known as a molinillo is often used to froth Mexican hot chocolate drinks such as champurrado and atole. A cold chocolate drink called tejate is a specialty in the Oaxaca region and this drink is a frothy combination of cocoa flowers, dark chocolate and corn masa.
Mole is a savory Mexican sauce which contains nuts, chili, tomato, chocolate, spices and garlic. Only a small amount of dark, bitter chocolate is used to make mole and this sauce is served with chicken or turkey. Chocolate mousse, chocolate flan and chocolate souffle are other examples of Mexican desserts featuring chocolate as an ingredient.
Recipe for Mexican Chocolate Soup
This tasty and unusual dessert recipe is known as “sopa de chocolate” in Mexico and it clearly reflects the French influence on Mexican cuisine. A lot of Mexican recipes have French, Portuguese, Indian, Spanish or Caribbean touches and Mexican food is a combination of many cuisines. This Mexican dessert recipe serves four people.
What you will need:
- 2 oz grated Mexican chocolate
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups milk
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons slivered almonds
How to make it:Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cook 1/4 cup of the sugar with the milk gently in a pan over a low flame. Separate the eggs and beat the egg yolks with 1/4 cup of sugar. Pour the egg yolk mixture into the milk and keep cooking it, stirring all the time, until the mixture is thick. Do not let it boil.
Stir in the chocolate until the mixture is smooth. Let it cool down and divide it between four serving dishes. Beat the egg whites and sugar until you get stiff peaks, then divide this mixture between four custard cups. Put these in a pan with an inch of water in it and bake until the meringues are cooked and golden brown.
Add a meringue to each of the serving dishes and sprinkle the almonds over the top. A dollop of vanilla ice cream would also be a good garnish for these Mexican desserts.
Both sweet and savory Mexican recipes can feature Mexican chocolate to enhance the flavor. Mexican chocolate ranges from bitter, dark and unspiced to cinnamon and even chili varieties. Vanilla, cinnamon and fruit are also popular ingredients in delicious Mexican desserts and a lot of these desserts are really easy to make.
MexicanDessertRecipes.net The Sweet Side of Mexican Food
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