Mexican Chocolate Discs Recipe

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Mexican Chocolate Discs

You have no idea how excited I am about this.

What I have for you today is a recipe for Mexican chocolate discs that you can make at home in 15 minutes, wrap up, and give to your friends and family members this holiday season to gain their eternal admiration, love, and gratitude. Not a bad return on your investment, right?

If you’re not familiar with Mexican chocolate discs, let me explain. They are round pucks of coarsely milled chocolate flavored with a little cinnamon, wrapped up in paper, that you buy in stacks.

The official way to use these chocolate discs is to break them up into sections — conveniently marked on top of the discs — and melt them in water for hot chocolate, using a little corn starch for thickening. You can sprinkle a little more ground cinnamon over your cup, and ideally you will serve these steaming cups of champurrado with freshly fried churros, because YOLO.

Mexican Chocolate Discs

I’ve never been to Mexico myself, but I have had Mexican clients on my private walking tours (you know I offer walking tours of Paris, yes? get in touch to know more if you’ll be visiting soon!) and they have been kind enough to bring me samples. And of course, Taza, one of my favorite American brands of bean-to-bar chocolate, has a full range that I stock up on when I can. (My favorite is the dark salted almond.)

I confess, however, that I don’t ever make hot chocolate with my Mexican chocolate discs. Nope. I just break off segments and eat them straight, enjoying the coarse texture, the vibrant chocolate flavor, the brightness of the cinnamon, and the hit of salt. Also, do you know raw cacao is a superfood? So there’s that to feel extra good about.

Mexican Chocolate Discs

The recipe I am sharing below is adapted from a little French book I love called 1001 Secrets sur le chocolat (1001 secrets of chocolate). I have reduced the amount of sugar to get a final result that’s 62% cacao, and added a touch of sea salt because everything is better with a touch of sea salt (challenge me if you like).

I hope you adopt it as a treat for yourself, as I have, and as a one-of-a-kind handmade food gift that will surprise and delight those lucky enough to have you in their life (I mean, really!).

Mexican Chocolate Discs

About the cinnamon I use

I am in love with the fresh cinnamon I order from Cinnamon Hill, a small company that specializes in sourcing and selling the highest-quality, freshest cinnamon from Sri Lanka and Vietnam (ordinary cinnamon usually comes from China or Indonesia). I get whole sticks, and grate them with the beautifully crafted (and highly giftable!) cinnamon grater that Cinnamon Hill has designed. Truly, you don’t know what cinnamon tastes like until you’ve tried freshly harvested, freshly grated, top-grade cinnamon, and it makes an amazing difference in this recipe.

Mexican Chocolate Discs

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Mexican Chocolate Discs

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Mexican Chocolate Discs Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Makes 4 discs, about 45 grams (1.5 ounces) each.

Mexican Chocolate Discs Recipe

Ingredients

  • 100 grams (3/4 cups) whole raw cacao beans (such as these)
  • 20 grams (3 tablespoons) whole raw almonds
  • 40 grams (3 tablespoons) unrefined cane sugar (such as this)
  • One 6-cm (2 1/3-inch) stick cinnamon (I use fresh cinnamon from Cinnamon Hill)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Instructions

  1. In a sturdy blender, process the cacao beans, almonds, sugar, cinnamon, and salt until reduced to as fine a powder as you can. If you have an entry-level blender, you may get a coarser texture; be sure to stop the blender frequently to prevent overheating.
  2. Transfer to a bowl, add 1 tablespoon water, and knead it in until the chocolate mixture starts to come together. Add a teensy bit more water if you need to, but don't add so much that it gets sticky.
  3. Divide in four equal parts — 45 grams (1.5 ounces) each if you want to be precise — and shape each into a disk, about 6 cm (2 1/3 inch) in diameter. With the dull side of the blade of a knife, mark six portions in a star pattern on each disk.
  4. Mexican Chocolate Discs
  5. Wrap each in parchment or food-safe tissue paper (you can cut out rounds or squares about 15 cm (6 inches) across), secure with a piece of masking tape, and refrigerate until ready to eat or gift.
  6. This can be eaten as a treat, like regular chocolate, or melted and whisked into boiling water or milk to make champurrado, or Mexican hot chocolate, served with churros. Use 200 ml (3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon) liquid for each disk of chocolate.

Notes

3.1
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Unless otherwise noted, all recipes are copyright Clotilde Dusoulier.

Mexican Chocolate Discs

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Coconut Milk: 10 Irresistible Ways To Use It

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10 Irresistible Ways to Use Coconut Milk

This post is made possible by the support of La Maison du Coco. More info below!

My pantry doesn’t feel quite right if I don’t have a stack of coconut milk cans handy. I find a million and one uses for them, and I wanted to share some of my favorites with you today.

A cornerstone of Southeast Asian cuisines, coconut milk is the liquid that is pressed from the grated flesh of a fresh, ripe coconut. (It is different from coconut water, which is the clear liquid that’s in the center of young, green coconuts.) And for those of us who don’t live where coconuts grow, coconut milk is mostly available canned.

And once you have a couple of cans stacked up in your kitchen cabinets, what do you do with them? Here are 10 delicious things to do with coconut milk.

The coconut milk I get from La Maison du Coco

The coconut milk I like to buy is from La Maison du Coco, a French company that works with coconut growers in the Philippines to offer certified organic and fair trade coconut milk. I find it particularly flavorful and creamy, and I like that I have a choice between the 6%-fat coconut milk (great for a bowl of granola), the 15%-fat coconut milk (great for cooking and baking), and the 21%-fat cream of coconut (perfect for coconut whipped cream).

Curries

Perhaps the most classic use of coconut milk in cooking is to make curries — comforting and fragrant stews of fish, meat, or vegetables. Among my stand-by recipes are this easy fish curry and this winter vegetable curry, which I make to ward off colds. I also use coconut milk in this 30-minute chicken and spinach curry.

Soups

From curries, it’s a natural progression to soups! You can incorporate the coconut milk as one of the liquid ingredients when making a soup, such as this butternut squash and lentil soup.

Alternatively, you can add a dollop of coconut milk or cream of coconut at the very end, to finish the soup and give it more body, instead of using dairy cream. This is most pleasing in broccoli, carrot, or winter squash soups, especially if you’ve add a chopped stalk of lemongrass in the cooking process.

Smoothies

Simply process the coconut milk in a blender with fresh fruit. especially tropical fruit such as mangoes and pineapple, but also berries or peaches in season. Add a touch of honey or other sweetener as needed, a squeeze of lime or lemon juice, and some ice cubes.

I also love to make a date and tahini smoothie with coconut milk, as suggested to me by Marie-Jeanne Acquaviva del Giardino (a more novel-worthy name I can’t imagine).

Replace dairy milk and cream

More generally, coconut milk is a wonderful substitute for dairy if you are dealing with a food sensitivity, if you need to veganize a recipe, or simply want a change of pace. You can substitute 6%-fat coconut milk one for one in most recipes that call for full-fat milk. Just be aware, of course, that it will bring a coconut flavour to your dish or baked good!

Try this in crêpes and pancakes, in a flan or clafoutis, in mashed potatoes

Coconut Whipped Cream

This is a fun and delicious topping to make for crêpes and cakes; I serve it with my roasted pineapple. All you need to to is refrigerate a can of coconut milk upside down overnight, then carefully scoop out the thick cream that’s solidified at the top into a chilled bowl. Add a little sugar and beat energetically with a whisk until it forms soft peaks, and voilà ! Non-dairy whipped cream!

Coconut Milk Yogurt

I am a total fan of coconut yogurt. The ones you buy at organic stores are pretty costly, but you can make your own easily. Here’s my own recipe for homemade coconut milk yogurt.

Ice cream

You can make instant ice cream by throwing into the food processor two overripe, frozen bananas, 200 grams frozen berries, and 120 ml coconut milk. In a minute you’ll have soft-serve ice cream to enjoy after dinner.

I also love this very easy coconut lover’s ice cream just from pantry ingredients.

Cocktails

Coconut milk is an ingredient that’s used by mixologists to give an exotic, and slightly sweet note to their drinks. It works especially well in rum cocktails with a touch of lime or lemon juice to cut through the richness. For cocktail purposes, most of the time you’ll use just the thinner milk that’s left at the bottom of the can after you’ve made whipped coconut cream.

Coconut Latte

Did you know the flavors of coffee and coconut go beautifully well together? You can make an amazing coconut latte by mixing 480 ml (2 cups) freshly brewed hot coffee with 80 ml (1/3 cup) full-fat coconut milk or coconut cream. It’s good to use a blender if you have one (be careful with that hot coffee) because then you get a nice layer of foam on top.

Beauty Products

Coconut milk can be used for all kinds of homemade cosmetics. (Don’t miss my selection of 10 Super Easy DIY Cosmetics!)

I like to make the following hair mask to nourish dry hair and promote growth: mix together 2 tablespoons coconut milk and 1 teaspoon honey. Apply on dry, unwashed hair, leave it in for an hour, then rinse, shampoo, and rinse again. Repeat monthly.

A really fun and blissful thing to do is to add a full can of coconut milk to the tub when you’re taking a bath. It’s a great moisturizer, and you’ll get to pretend you’re Cleopatra in her bath of donkey milk!

This post is made possible by La Maison du Coco. All opinions expressed are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Chocolate & Zucchini.

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