Cinco de Mayo Chocolate Recipes

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. The Sweet Side of Mexican Food

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Fall Means S’mores

Nothing says fall to me like s’mores. Give me a lightly toasted marshmallow, bar of chocolate, and crunchy graham cracker and I am in heaven. According to Wikipedia, the first recorded s’more recipe was the Girlscout Handbook of 1927. Not much is known about the origin of the name “s’more,” but who really cares? They are one of the yummiest treats on the planet, especially when the chocolate melts just right….

If you are a fan of the s’mores as I am and would like to enjoy some variations (besides just making them in the microwave or on a baking sheet in the oven), I have two for you. The first is S’more Pudding. We just made this up at our house. Take the cook and serve chocolate pudding (sugar free for us) and pour it into the bowl while warm. Top it with a handful of mini-marshmallows and crushed up graham crackers. My girls love this! If I want a lower calorie treat that is similar, I substitute sugar free Cool Whip for the marshmallows.

My other favorite s’mores treat is the S’more Brownie. You’ll find lots of different recipes for these online, but they are essentially just cooking up a pan of brownies and topping them with a mixture of mini-marshmallows and graham crackers during the last few minutes of baking. You can then drizzle them with a little chocolate syrup at the very end. I originally saw these as a Weight Watchers recipe where you use the low fat brownie mix, low fat graham crackers, marshmallows, and sugar free chocolate syrup.

We’ve got another few good weeks of s’mores weather here in the midwest. I will certainly be eating my fill!