Chocolate Tamales

 From 'The Road to Mexico' by Rick Stein
Chocolate Truffles These truffles perfectly balance the flavours of chocolate and chilli, with an added hint of fruit. They have a texture that is crispy on the outside, but gooey on the inside.

  • 1 large pasilla chilli or 4 tsp ground pasilla
  • 200ml double cream
  • 1 tsp, or more to taste, cayenne pepper (optional)
  • A pinch of salt
  • 200g dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
  • 6 heaped tbsp cocoa powder, for dusting
  • 1 litre corn oil, for deep frying
  • Whipped or clotted cream, to serve
  • 250g small strawberries or raspberries
    • For the Batter
  • 120g plain flour
  • 1½ tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 100ml ice cold water
  1. Heat the cream in a pan with the ground pasilla, cayenne, and the salt.
    1. If using a whole pasilla, toast it for about 10 seconds on each side in a dry pan, then grind to a powder.
  2. When the cream is hot but not boiling, take the pan off the heat and add the chocolate.
  3. Stir gently until the chocolate has melted. Set aside to cool and then chill until it is firm enough to shape into balls.
  4. Using two teaspoons, shape the chocolate into 15-18 small lozenges and drop them into a bowl of cocoa powder.
  5. Using your hands and working quickly as to not melt the chocolate, roll them into balls, dusting them with cocoa powder as you go.
  6. Put them on a tray lined with baking paper and freeze for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.
  7. Ten minutes before you are ready to finish the truffles, make the batter:
    1. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a bowl.
    2. Make a well in the centre and add the egg.
    3. Whisk the egg, gradually drawing in the flour from the sides to make a paste.
    4. Add the water a little at a time until you have a smooth, thick batter.
  8. Heat the oil to 175°C in a large saucepan.
  9. Dip the frozen truffles into the batter, lower them into the hot oil and fry for a couple of minutes until golden. Do this in batches, setting each batch aside on kitchen paper.
  10. Serve immediately dusted with cocoa powder and with whipped or clotted cream, and some red berries on the side.