I recently took a trip to Oaxaca, Mexico for an adult spring break. My husband and I chose this lesser known city for its culinary delights - the valley is the birthplace of moles of all sorts, and is known for its salsas, mezcal, cheese, and chocolate. We had breakfast almost every morning at a chocolate shop next to the large central market where you could sip on warm spiced chocolate , dunking in an accompanying sweet leavened sesame seed roll. The smell was the best part - in the shop they had "molineros," or small mills for grinding cocoa beans into their famous chocolate blend (or a customer's own desired blend!) in small batches, available for purchase by the kilo (we left with 2kg). Into the mill went roasted cocoa beans, almonds, sugar, and cinnamon. This combination of flavors inspired an almond-milk based fudgsicle, with some spicy fruity flavor notes taken from mole with the addition of chiles. Enjoy! —Emily | Cinnamon&Citrus
- Serves 4
dried guajillo chile (Goya brand on the Latin American or International Foods aisle is usually easy to find)
almond milk (I use plain, lightly sweetened)
dried red chili pepper flakes
unsweetened cocoa powder
instant espresso powder
granulated sugar (use 1/2C if you are using an unsweetened almond milk)
of sea salt
- Using cooking scissors, cut off the top of your guajillo chile and discard. Cut a slit down the side so the chile can be opened flat, and remove all of the seeds.
- In a heavy bottomed pan, toast the cinnamon, clove, and guajillo dry over medium high heat until fragrant, about 3-5 min. Push the chile down with a spatula to flatten and maximize contact with the heat.
- Add the almond milk, chili flakes, cocoa, cornstarch, espresso powder and sugar, whisking constantly until combined (so the cornstarch doesn't create lumps), and reduce the heat to medium. Bring the mixture to a low boil (you have to boil to activate the corn starch), whisking occasionally. Boil for 2-3 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened to coat a spoon and is smooth and well combined.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and almond extracts and sea salt. Cover the pan and let steep for 20 minutes before removing the cinnamon stick and cloves (disclosure - I usually can't find the second clove. It must get blended up, so don't spend too much time searching for the little guys!).
- Transfer to blender (or use immersion blender) and blend in the now softened guajillo chile.
- Pour into popsicle molds (if you used an immersion blender, it is less messy to ladle into a 2C measuring cup with a spout for pouring) and freeze 4 hours. If you do not have commercial popsicle molds, pour into small cups (like those you'd get at the water cooler) and freeze for 1 hour, place popsicle sticks inside, then freeze the additional 3 hours.