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Spicy Mexican Chocolate Tamales

As part of reviving the holiday traditions that have defined our families and communities for years, LatinoFoodie set out to make sweet tamales rather than savory ones this season. In true Latin fashion, we gathered with our primas and primos for a family tamale making party, also known as a tamalada.

There’s nothing better than several generations coming together and sharing stories of times past, and anyone who has made massive amounts of tamales knows that there is a process involved. I call it Tamale Boot camp. Everyone in attendance received their assignments and worked diligently to keep the hojas (corn husks) moving. In total, we make close to 50 dozen savory red and green chili pork and beef tamales. The trick is to give your friends and family a comfortable chair, keep them fed, and ply them with drink, just not too much drink; we don't want them to be sloppy when spreading the masa!

While most love savory tamales of any variety, we learned folks are finicky when it comes to sweet tamales. These chocolate tamales piqued our interest because of the use of Mexican chocolate mixed with some heat. Plus, young children (and even moody teens) will love getting their hands gooey with chocolate masa. It’s a fun way to pull your kids away from the video games or television and share some holiday cheer and memories. But a word of caution: you will need aprons! 

We served these chocolate tamales as a dessert, accompanied with caramel and chocolate dipping sauces. They’re also delicious paired with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Freeze these little parcels of chocolate now, and you can enjoy them all winter long. They also make great gifts. Well, none of the neighbors complained! 

Chef tip on the size of your tamales: We went with about a heaping tablespoon of chocolate masa per tamal. This allowed us to make 50 small tamales. The larger your tamale, the longer you’ll be steaming. 

Spicy Mexican Chocolate Tamales

  • 1-8 ounce package dried corn husks
  • 10 ounces Mexican chocolate, chopped, finely pulverized
  • 10 ounces unsalted butter, cubed & softened at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more if you want a spicier kick.)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 pounds freshly prepared corn masa
  • 1 cup reduced fat milk

Get the full recipe.


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