The Chocolate Life

Discover Chocolate and Live La Vida Cocoa!

Tomorrow is Turkey Day and I wonder how many of us are incorporating chocolate into our plans to celebrate.

Not many people know that the turkey is native to the New World. In fact there is a chance that the Pilgrims when they crossed the Atlantic brought with them turkeys descended from birds transported to Spain, re-introducing them into a part of the Americas where they were not common.

The dish we call mole poblano is these days routinely made with chicken but more traditionally is made with turkey. In fact, mole poblano is a modern dish that post-dates the arrivals of the Spanish in Central America. In an authentic mole poblano there are about a dozen ingredients that did not originate in the New World.

Mole is a word that means "mixture" and there is a collection on traditional moles from Oaxaca (including amarillo, verde, negro, and rojo) in addition to poblano. The mole most commonly consumed in the US is probably guacamole - or avocado mixture.

I have a jar of some amazing mole from Mexico that I am going to be offering my guests tomorrow to accompany our turkey. There will be three sauces, actually. A straight mole, a straight turkey gravy, and a creole sauce where I will add some of the mole to the straight turkey gravy.

How you all of you? Will you be celebrating (or did you celebrate) Thanksgiving with chocolate?

Yours in pursuit of The ChocolateLife. Enjoy!

:: Clay

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I definitely made it a chocolate fall feast day! Mole yes, this was/is still on hand, wonderful mole chili at this time. I have made mole from scratch a number of times now, and feel I am finally starting to get good at this. It is a lot of fun to make, and it's a very powerful and delicious sauce, with many uses. For this latest one I used only guajillo and chipotle peppers, the time before it was ancho, guajillo, New Mexico, pasilla, and chipotle. This time I used a little more chocolate than usual, normally it's about 2-3 oz for the size of recipe that I normally make, but I used 4.5 oz this time. I was thinking of putting the latest recipe on my blog, maybe I will do that and post here after I've published it. The chocolate used this time was a combination of 91% and 63% from Cacaoyere. Last time I used Felchlin Dominican Republic, that's right I don't spare and go straight for the good stuff, ha ha. I used extra red tomatoes this time, and the last time I omitted these entirely, but increased the tomatillos. There are so many ways to make mole. Here is an interesting article about mole from NY Times, and below a couple of good recipe links to get started.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A24738636
http://www.finerkitchens.com/swap/forum1/8687_this_on_is_complicate...
http://jugalbandi.info/2007/11/when-chilli-meets-chocolate-vegetari...


For dessert, a chocolate pumpkin pie. I made this using a blend of chocolates from Pralus, Bonnat, El Rey, Valrhona, and Slitti. What I did was simply prebake the crust a few minutes, then put a layer of the melted blend onto the bottom and up the sides of the crust. I poured the pumpkin filling right over the melted chocolate, without waiting for it to cool, then finished baking, then added a layer of the melted chocolate to the top of the pie. The chocolate cooled and made pretty smooth layers on top and bottom, for a taste and visual contrast between the pumpkin and the chocolate. It turned out delicious. If you want to try this, make sure you don't put the chocolate on the bottom layer all the way to the top, any chocolate not covered by pumpkin will of course burn!

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