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Chocolate


Nana Jose's Flourless Chocolate Cake

Nana Jose’s Flourless Chocolate Pecan Cake
Pastel de Chocolate y Nuez de la Nana Jose

Serves: 10

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Pastel de Chocolate y Nuez de la Nana Jose" />

Ingredients

1/4 cup unsalted butter, plus 1 tablespoon for buttering the pan

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate

1 cup pecans

6 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup sugar

Pinch of kosher or coarse sea salt

Confectioners’ sugar (optional)

Lightly sweetened whipped cream (optional)

Berries (optional)

To Prepare

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and line bottom with parchment paper.

Bring about 2-inches of water to a simmer in the bottom half of a double boiler or in a medium saucepan. Place the top half of the double boiler, or a metal bowl or heatproof pan if not using a double boiler, over the simmering water and melt together the chocolate and the 1/4 cup butter. Set aside to cool.

Using a blender, chop the pecans finely. Add the eggs, vanilla, sugar, salt and melted chocolate mixture, blending until smooth. Pour the batter into the buttered springform pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out moist but not wet, about 40 minutes.

Once it has cooled a little, run the tip of a knife around the pan and release the cake from the pan. Invert onto a plate, and then again, or serve directly onto plates if left on bottom part of springform pan. If desired, sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and serve with whipped cream and berries.

© 2010-2014 MEXICAN TABLE, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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Extreme Brownies with Caramelized Pecans

Extreme Brownies with Caramelized Pecans
Browines Extremos con Nueces Garapiñadas

Serves: 10 to 12

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Browines Extremos con Nueces Garapiñadas" />

Ingredients

1/2 pound unsalted butter (2 sticks), cut into pieces

5 ounces unsweetened chocolate, broken into pieces

1 tablespoon instant coffee (may be decaf if desired)

2 tablespoons coffee liquor or coffee tequila, may be substituted with water

4 large eggs

3 tablespoons sour cream

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt

2 1/2 cups halved caramelized pecans store-bought or homemade

Confectioners’ sugar (optional)

To Prepare

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter a 9x13-inch baking dish, dust with flour and shake excess flour off.

In a double boiler or water bath, melt the butter with the chocolate, stirring occasionally until completely mixed.

In a small cup, combine the instant coffee with the coffee liquor or water, stir until almost dissolved and pour into the chocolate mixture, it will finish dissolving in the melted chocolate. Mix with a spatula and remove from the heat. Let cool.

In a medium mixing bowl, beat the eggs with a fork or whisk until they have gained some volume and seem foamy. Add the sour cream, vanilla and sugar. Mix with a spatula until thoroughly combined.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Stir.

Slowly pour the chocolate mix into egg mixture, mixing with a spatula as you do, until completely combined. Pour that mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined. Finally, toss in the caramelized pecans and gently fold. Pour into the prepared baking dish and place in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes or until the top has lightly crisped, and the brownies are still moist but not wet (test with a toothpick).

Remove from the oven, let cool and slice into squares. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, if desired.

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IMPOSSIBLE CHOCOFLAN
Chocoflan imposible
Makes 12 servings

INGREDIENTS
To Prepare the Molds or Ramekins:
Enough butter to coat 12 molds
1 cup cajeta or La Lechera dulce de leche

For the Cake:
4 oz or 1 stick of unsalted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup buttermilk

For the Flan:
1 12-oz can evaporated milk
1 14-oz can La Lechera sweetened condensed milk
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

For the Garnish:
1/3 cup toasted pecans, chopped

TO PREPARE
Set the oven to 350 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of each ramekin or mold until evenly spread. Pour the cajeta into the buttered molds, distributing evenly between all 12.

To Make the Cake Base:
In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until fluffy. Then, beat in the egg. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

At medium-low speed, beat in half of the flour mixture and half of the buttermilk into the butter/sugar mixture. Then, beat in the remaining halves. Make sure you scrape the side of the bowl so all of the ingredients mix evenly. Put the mixer on medium-high speed and beat for an additional minute.

To Make the Flan:
Place the eggs, vanilla, evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk in a blender and puree until smooth.

To Prepare the Entire Dish:
Pour the cake batter into each ramekin or mold. Then, pour the flan mixture on top, it will look messy, but don’t worry, that’s how it’s supposed to be! Place the ramekins in a large pan or baking dish. Pour hot water into the dish up to halfway the height of the molds. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and seal.

Place the in the oven and bake for about 50 to 55 minutes, or until the surface of each cake feels solid, looks baked and a wooden toothpick comes out moist but not wet.

Remove from the oven. Be careful when you open the aluminum foil as the steam will be very hot. Once cool enough to handle, remove the ramekins out of the water bath. Once cool, cover with plastic and refrigerate at least 2 hours before eating.

When ready to serve, run the tip of a knife around the ramekin and place it cake-side down onto a plate. Lift the mold up. Drizzle with any cajeta from the mold and decorate with chopped pecans.


By adding a few key Mexican ingredients to what you’d normally find in an all-American pantry and fridge, you get these to-die-for, lip-smacking dishes.


CHOCOLATE AND DULCE DE LECHE (CAJETA) CUPCAKES
Recipe from my sister Alisa Romano
Cupcakes de chocolate con cajeta
Makes 12 cupcakes

INGREDIENTS
Cupcake ingredients:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup hot water
3/4 cup La Lechera dulce de leche or cajeta

Ganache ingredients:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
14 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

TO PREPARE
To prepare the cupcakes:
Place oven rack in the center position. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the cupcake molds.

In the mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until soft and creamy. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix until well combined.

In a separate bowl, add flour, baking soda and salt. Mix it up and add it to the butter mixture. Pour the buttermilk and continue beating. In a small bowl, combine hot water and cocoa powder and stir into the mix, beat until combined. Pour the batter into the cupcake molds.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the cupcakes rise, are cooked and tanned on top. Transfer to a wire rack and let them cool completely. Using a paring knife, cut a 1-inch piece from the top of each cupcake. Save the cut pieces. Fill each hole with one tablespoon of dulce de leche or cajeta and replace the cut-out pieces. Top the cupcakes with the chocolate ganache.

To prepare the ganache:
Mash the butter until it’s creamy and has no lumps. Heat the chopped chocolate in a double boiler water bath and let it melt. Warm the heavy whipping cream slightly

Slowly fold the whipping cream into the melted chocolate. Finish off the ganache by folding in the softened butter and adding sugar until everything is well combined.


Fun, kid-friendly and (mostly!) finger-food that you’d find at a children’s party in Mexico, adapted for American parties at home. A special guest shows up to make dessert!


Juju’s Birthday Cake
Pastel de chocolate de Juju

Serves: 10 to 12 non-hungry people

Ingredients

For the cake:

1 cup water

2/3 cup cocoa

1/2 cup unsalted butter

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 3/4 cups sugar

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup sour cream

2 large eggs, preferably at room temperature

For the Frosting:

1/4 cup milk

1 tablespoon vanilla

1/2 cup cocoa

1/2 cup unsalted butter

2 cups confectioners' sugar

1/4 cup sprinkles, optional

To Prepare

To prepare the cake: Grease a 9x13-inch cake pan with butter. Cover the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large pot, over medium heat, pour the water, stir in the cocoa and add the butter. Let it heat for a few minutes, stirring now and then, until it all dissolves. Remove the pot from the heat.

In another bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder. In another, beat the eggs and combine them with the sour cream.

In turns, add a quarter of the flour mix and then a quarter of the sour cream mix at a time into the pot with the cocoa mixture; stir with a spatula, mixing all of the ingredients as you move along. Pour onto the greased cake pan and place in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out barely moist but not wet.

Take the cake out of the oven and let it cool a bit while you prepare the frosting.

To prepare the frosting: In a saucepan, over medium heat, pour in the milk and the vanilla. Stir in the cocoa and add the butter. Heat and stir until everything is all dissolved and combined. Remove from the heat and stir in the confectioners' sugar. Thoroughly mix with a spatula and set aside.

To assemble: Run the tip of a knife around the edges of the cake. Turn the cake onto a platter and gently remove the parchment paper. Pour the still-warm frosting over the cake and gently spread it out with a spatula. If you wish, you may add sprinkles of your choice before the frosting hardens (NOTE: The cake is soft and moist the first couple days, then hardens like a brownie afterwards if left uncovered-- perfect for packing in school lunches).

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The same foods that parents pack into a hearty school lunch in Mexico are perfect for school lunchtime in America. These dishes are so tasty and filling, even grownups will want to take them to work…


April 22, 2012
Mexican Chocolate 1-thumb-510x342-769

Mexican chocolate is quite different from regular bittersweet chocolate sold throughout the world.

It is sweeter, yet with contrasting layers of flavor that seem to sweep your tongue in waves as you take a bite. It is also grainy, practically gritty.  It is traditionally made from a mixture of toasted cacao beans, ground almonds, regular sugar and cinnamon.

Native from Mexico, in pre-hispanic times cacao beans were transformed into a chocolate paste. In that form, chocolate was combined with water and drank every day, by the liters, by Aztec Emperor Moctezuma. It was served for him, in hand carved precious mugs and spiced up with ground chiles and sometimes honey. Only the high tier of the Aztec hierarchy had access to it, on special occasions. It was only after the Spaniards arrived that it turned into a sweeter ingredient by adding the sugar, cinnamon and almonds.

Continue reading Mexican Chocolate

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Mexican Chocolate

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GARABATO OR SCRIBBLES COOKIES
Galletas Garabato con Chocolate
Makes about 16 to 18 cookies

INGREDIENTS
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for chocolate filling
2 eggs, at room temperature
4 cups all purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1 cup heavy cream
8 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped

TO PREPARE
In a mixer, at medium-high speed beat the butter until soft. Add the sugar and keep on beating until fluffy. One by one, add the eggs until well combined. Lower the speed to low, and add the flour half a cup at a time, along with the salt, thoroughly mixed. Remove from the mixer, turn into a ball, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate anywhere from 1/2 hour to overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly dust all-purpose flour on your countertop and roll out the dough to about 1/4″ thickness. Cut circles of about 3″ round. Place them in a buttered and floured cookie sheet. Bake anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes or until they appear lightly tanned. Let them cool on a cooling rack.

In a saucepan over low heat, combine the cream and the chopped chocolate. Stir constantly, until the chocolate is well dissolved. Turn off the heat and let it cool.

Once the cookies and chocolate filling have cooled, add a couple tablespoons of chocolate on top of half the cookies. Top with another cookie without pressing down on it. Then with a spoon or fork, drizzle more chocolate on top of the cookies, making your own scribble designs.

Once the cookies are set, you may cover and refrigerate. I love them cold!

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