Chocolate tamales

Tamales are a very traditional Mesoamerican dish which continue to be popular in Mexico. At their core they’re simply a stiff batter of masa (nixtamalised corn) mixed with flavourings and steamed inside a corn husk or banana leaf until firm and fluffy. Santiago Lastra uses chocolate to create a sweet tamal to serve as dessert - in his restaurant he serves them alongside corn husk ice cream and sea buckthorn berries, but you can choose whatever ice cream you like. Make sure the chocolate you use is of the highest quality.

First published in 2021
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Ingredients

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Imperial

Chocolate tamales

  • 6 cornhusks, for wrapping the tamales
  • 50g unsalted butter, diced
  • 100g dark chocolate, best quality
  • 2 eggs
  • 125g brown sugar
  • 10g mezcal
  • 70g white corn masa harina
  • 15g plain flour
  • 3g baking powder
  • Ice cream, to serve

Equipment

  • Steamer basket
  • Electric hand whisk, or stand mixer

Method

1

Bring a large pan of water to the boil, then add the corn husks and instantly remove from the heat. Leave to soak for 20 minutes

  • 6 cornhusks, for wrapping the tamales
2

Place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, ensuring the base of the bowl does not touch the water. Stir occasionally until completely melted and combined

  • 50g unsalted butter, diced
  • 100g dark chocolate, best quality
3

Meanwhile, beat the brown sugar and eggs together in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment until thick and doubled in size (you’re looking for a similar consistency to a sabayon)

  • 2 eggs
  • 125g brown sugar
4

Whisk the melted chocolate mixture into the eggs, followed by the masa harina, flour and baking powder. Finally add the mezcal, then turn up the speed for a few seconds until completely combined

  • 10g mezcal
  • 70g white corn masa harina
  • 15g plain flour
  • 3g baking powder
5

Roll the tamal mixture into 6 equal portions, roughly 50g each

6

Spread the soaked corn husks out on a work surface and place a portion of the tamal mixture in the centre of each one. Fold the husks over the filling to create a rectangular parcel, then use string to tie them up (you could also use thin ribbons cut from the corn husks.) Reserve in the fridge until ready to steam

7

When ready to cook, set up a large steamer basket over a pan of simmering water. Steam the tamales for 15 minutes. Serve with ice cream of your choice

  • Ice cream, to serve
First published in 2021
discover more:
share recipe:

Blending Mexican dishes and techniques with British ingredients, Santiago Lastra is treading a never-seen-before culinary path at his beautiful terracotta-toned London restaurant KOL.

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