From “Tamales” by Daniel Hoyer. A decadent take on tamales. Try different fruits or eliminate altogether, or exchange some of the dark chocolate for white chocolate. Add 3 tablespoons cocoa powder to the masa, if desired.
- 12 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, cut into chunks (or use chips)
- 11/4 cups lightly toasted, coarsely chopped pecans
- 11/2 cups dried sour cherries
- 2 teaspoons Mexican vanilla extract or other premium vanilla
- Sweet Masa (recipe follows) prepared using all butter
- 24 corn husks, soaked, plus extra for ties and covering in the steamer
Fold chocolate, pecans, cherries and vanilla into Sweet Masa after completing the float test. Place about 2 heaping tablespoons masa mixture on center of each corn husk. Fold one side of husk over, roll up, and then tie each tail with a strip of husk.
Arrange tamales on their sides in a preheated steamer pot, leaving room for steam to circulate (use the extra husks to cover the tamales in the steamer). Steam 45 minutes to 1 hour or until masa has firmed somewhat and pulls away from husk easily. Turn off heat, remove the covering husks, and let rest 15 to 20 minutes before serving. Makes 24 tamales.
Sweet Masa: With an electric mixer, beat 11/4 cups butter until fluffy, about 1 minute. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar or honey, and beat 1 minute more. Add 1 teaspoon salt and continue beating while adding 31/2 cups Masa for Tamales (see recipe in Chicken Tamales above) in 2-ounce pieces (about 1 inch) and waiting a few seconds between each addition while continuing to mix. When about half of masa is mixed in well, start alternating the masa with cool water, using about 1 to 1 1/2 cups total. Test using cold water method described in the Basic Whipped or Beaten Masa recipe, and whip with more water if needed. Fill and wrap tamales as directed.
Per serving: 302 calories; 20 g fat (10 g saturated fat; 60 percent calories from fat); 33 g carbohydrates; 27 mg cholesterol; 202 mg sodium; 3 g protein; 3 g fiber.