hot tamale


In the office kitchen today, while I was trying to live off the land (by which I mean scrounge together a lunch from the communal supply of chips, granola bars, cookies and sugary breakfast cereals), the conversation was about spicy food. I’ve never gotten too enthusiastic about it, which I had to sheepishly admit when my boss asked me if I did much spicy cooking. My other boss looked surprised, and said he thought Malaysians liked spicy food.

They do. So do Hungarians.

I am a culinary disappointment to my parents.


But there are exceptions to every rule, and on my first night in Mexico a few weeks ago we were served chipotle truffles for dessert. They weren’t overly spicy, so I didn’t need to hoard an entire water pitcher to myself, and they had a great subtle chili flavor. I asked the chef for the recipe, and being a very laid-back yoga retreat, I got a very laid-back answer. Here’s my take on the directions:

Mexican Chipotle Truffles

Note: When I first tried to make these, I used canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. While it was a rookie mistake (I did mention I was never one for doing much spicy cooking, and apparently label-reading is not my forte either), the water in the adobo sauce caused the chocolate to seize up. All was not lost since (to my surprise) it became the perfect truffle consistency at room temperature, but the truffles didn’t have the flavour I was looking for. On my second try, I ended up blending actual chipotle peppers, which worked much better.

Ingredients:

Lots of semi-sweet chocolate
Chipotle peppers, blended to make a paste (see note)
Cocoa powder
Cinnamon

Directions:

Melt chocolate in a double-boiler (or be lazy like me and melt it directly on the stove).
Stir in a tiny bit of blended chipotle until well combined, taste, and repeat until you get the flavour you want.
Spread the chocolate out on a baking sheet, let it cool, and throw it in the fridge for an hour or so.
In the meantime, mix a bunch of cocoa powder with a bit of cinnamon in a bowl, and set aside.
Pray that it’s the right consistency when you remove it from the fridge, and then use a small cookie scoop to create little truffle balls (or get fed up like me because you’re left-handed and cookie scoops are made for right-handed people, and use your hands to shape the truffles).
Roll the truffles in the powder mix, dust them off, and serve.

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