Two hours before you are ready to make tamales, you’ll need to prepare the hojas (corn husks) by submerging them in really hot water. Simply place the hojas in a big tub and carefully pour the hot water over the husks. You can keep them submerged by weighing them down, i.e. place a heavy pan on top. The hot water will help make the husks pliable, which is essential for easy tamale making.
Place the chocolate in a medium sauce pot over medium-low heat, then add the softened butter, sugar, baking powder salt and cayenne pepper. Using a whisk mix the ingredients together. (Please note that you are not cooking it. You merely want to melt the chocolate so that your tamales are not grainy. This process should take a few minutes.)
Once the mixture is melted and no longer grainy, take it off the heat and allow to cool. Slowly start adding the chocolate to your prepared masa and mix as you go with a silicone spatula so the chocolate and masa are well incorporated. If your masa looks or feels too dry, simply add a little milk until you reach the right consistency. It will be sticky, but it should hold its shape somewhat. Chill, covered, for 1 hour.
Using smaller husks or ripping the larger ones in two pieces, pat the husks dry working in batches. Save all the small pieces and scraps of husks to tie up the ends. Scoop the chocolate masa and place it in the middle of softened corn husk. At this step add a single semi-sweet chocolate chip by gently pressing it into the masa. (The tamale will absorb some of the chocolate so don’t expect a molten center.)
Gently roll the husk closed and twist the ends. Using a long, thin strip of corn husk, tie both ends of the tamal. This is the bulk of your work, so settle in on chairs with your comadres and enjoy!
After each dozen place them in the fridge. This will help them keep their shape before steaming. At this stage you can also freeze some for later.
Steaming your tamales will take about 35 to 40 minutes, plus additional time to cool slightly. The tamales will firm up again once they begin to cool.
Place on a serving dish and serve with chocolate or caramel dipping sauces, or you can also serve it with a scoop of ice cream. You can also partially open the husk to expose the tamale and dust it with powdered sugar.