Soak the corn husks submerged in hot water for 2 to 3 hours, until they are pliable. Set a vegetable steamer in the bottom of a saucepan and add enough water to come just below the level of the steamer basket. Line the pan (on top of the steamer basket) with some of the softened corn husks. This protects the tamales from the steam, helping to keep them tender.
Prepare the Chocolate Masa: In a bowl, combine the masa harina with the 2-1/4 cups hot water. Set aside to cool.
Roughly chop the Mexican chocolate and then pulverize in a food processor to make about 1-1/2 cups. In an electric mixer, beat the butter, Mexican chocolate, sugar, salt, and baking powder until light, about 3 minutes. Continue beating, adding the masa in three additions.
Reduce the speed to medium low, and then add the chocolate extract, vanilla bean paste, and milk. Continue beating for one minute. Add a little extra milk if necessary to give the mixture a consistence of soft (not runny) cake batter. It should hold its shape in a spoon. For the lightest textured tamales, refrigerate the batter for an hour or so, then reheat.
Forming the Tamales: Tear several husks into 24 thin strips for tying the tamales or use kitchen string. Form tamales one at a time. Lay out your corn husk with the tapered end facing you. Spread about 1/4 cup of the batter into a 4-inch square, leaving a 1-1/2 inch border at the bottom (the end towards you) and 1/4-inch border along the sides.
Sprinkle some of the chopped chocolate down the center. Pick up the two long sides and bring them together, folding the masa onto itself. Loosely wrap the husk around the masa, adding another husk if yours doesn’t quite cover all of the filling. Fold the bottom closed, and holding the point against the tamale, wrap a strip around the tamale and tie it, securing the folded end and leaving the top open. Make sure not to wrap or tie them too tightly because they will expand while steaming. Stand tamales on their folded bottoms in the steamer. If you are working with a shallower pan, you can trim the top with a pair of scissors so them will fit under the lid of the pan.
Steaming and Serving the Tamales: When the tamales are formed and placed in the steamer, cover them with a layer of corn husks. If your tamales don’t take up all the space in the steamer, fill in the open spaces with loosely wadded aluminum foil. Set the lid in place and steam over a constant medium heat for about 1 hour. For the best-textured tamales, let them cool completely and then re-steam them for about 15 minutes to heat through.
Chef’s Trick: Place a few coins in the bottom of each pan you are steaming tamales in, under the steamer basket. While the water is boiling they will rattle, but if the water gets too low the coins will lay flat on the bottom of the pan and be quiet. If your pans get quiet, add more water!
Advance Preparation: Both the filling and batter can be made ahead, as can the finished tamales. Refrigerate in an airtight container. Re-steam or microwave tamales before serving.
Alternate Fillings: You can use a blending of all three chocolates as your filling or you may prefer a smear of raspberry jam, some macerated dried cherries or cranberries (soaked in hot liquid until moist and tender), or chopped nuts.
Adapted from TV Show “Mexico, One Plate at a Time”
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View line-by-line Nutrition Insights™: Discover which ingredients contribute the calories/sodium/etc.
|Serving Size: 1 (823g)|
|Recipe Makes: 1|
|Calories from Fat: 2144 (100%)|
|Amt Per Serving||% DV|
|Total Fat 241.3g||322 %|
|Saturated Fat 152.2g||761 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 62.5g|
|Polyunsanturated Fat 9.1g|
|Cholesterol 639.4mg||197 %|
|Sodium 77.2mg||3 %|
|Potassium 149.5mg||4 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 1.8g||1 %|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||0 %|
|Sugars, other 1.8g|
|Protein 3.6g||5 %|
Powered by: USDA Nutrition Database
Disclaimer: Nutrition facts are derived from linked ingredients (shown at left in colored bullets) and may or may not be complete. Always consult a licensed nutritionist or doctor if you have a nutrition-related medical condition.
Calories per serving: 2144
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