Wednesday, 31 August 2011

A Mexican Chocolate Affair

The world can trace the roots of chocolate back to the ancient Aztec empire in Mexico. Hernándo Cortés and the Spanish conquistadors were granted an audience with Moctezuma, the emperor at his breakfast table. They found the Aztec ruler sipping an exotic drink called xocóatl (meaning bitter water). Made from ground cacao beans boiled in water, flavored with vanilla and other tropical spices, and chilled with bits of snow from nearby mountain tops, the pungent beverage was, the Spanish reported, "of a very exciting nature."Cacao, for the Aztecs, symbolized the power and glory they attained in making the Valley of Mexico the seat of their vast empire.

The Spanish took a great liking to the Aztec drink, especially once they discovered that the addition of sugar make it far more palatable. The dubbed the drink chocolate (choh-co-la-teh) and for three quarters of a century jealously guarded the secret of its preparation from other Europeans but the beauty of chocolate could not be hidden for long.

The world has Mexico to thank for this enticing treat and the one empasssioned love affair that is likely to last forever. Whether or not you decide to serve mole - a spicy mexican chocolate sauce, a dessert made with Mexican chocolate is a fine finish for any meal. Our in-house celebrity gastronome Rushina, shares her recipe for Churros with chocolate Sauce. Find all the ingredients you need at your nearest Nature's Basket Store and treat yourself to some Mexican Chocolate decadence

Rushina’s decadent Churros Con Chocolate




Ingredients

For chocolate sauce

  • 100g dark chocolate

  • 25g milk chocolate

  • 1 tbsp golden syrup

  • 150ml double cream


For Churros

  • 50g caster sugar

  • 2 tsp cinnamon powder

  • 125g flour (maida)

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 250ml hot boiled water

  • About 500ml canola oil, to deep-fry


Method:

  1. To Make chocolate sauce – break up chocolate and combine all the other ingredients in a heavy-based saucepan, place on a low flame to melt. Once the chocolate begins to melt, give the sauce a gentle stir to mix everything thoroughly. Remove from heat and reserve in a warm place.

  2. To make Churros – In a shallow plate combine sugar and cinnamon and mix well. Reserve, you will use this to coat Churros later.

  3. In a large mixing bowl, add the flour and baking powder and mix well. Beat in olive oil and freshly boiled water from a kettle. Keep mixing until you have a warm, sticky dough. Leave to rest for about 10 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile heat oil for frying in a small kadhai so it fills it by about 1/3. When it’s hot enough, put in a piece of bread. If it sizzles and browns in about 30 seconds, the oil’s is hot enough.

  5. When you are ready, fit a piping bag or cookie gun with with a large star-shaped nozzle and fill with churro batter.

  6. Squeeze short lengths  of dough into the hot oil, cutting them off with scissors as you go.

  7. Cook about 3 or 4 churros at a time, frying them to a rich golden-brown. When they are done, strain them out of the oil with a perforated spoon, onto a plate lined with kitchen paper.

  8. Keep cooked churros warm while you fry the remaining dough by transferring them to a butter paper line baking tray and leaving in the oven at 100 degrees centigrade.

  9. Allow them to rest for 5–10 minutes before eating. Just before serving, toss churros in the sugar mixture until well covered. Serve with Chocolate.

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