the appetizer:

Dulce: Desserts in the Latin-American Tradition by Joseluis Flores with Laura Zimmerman Maye, includes recipes like Liquid Chocolate Croquettes Croquetas de Chocolate Liquido; Mango Catalonian Crème Brûlée Crema Catalana de Mango; and Peruvian Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Fritters with Spiced Syrup Picarones con Miel de Especias.


Liquid Chocolate Croquettes
Croquetas de Chocolate Liquido

Makes about 24 croquettes; serves 6 to 8

Chocolate Croquettes


It's impossible not to love these crunchy fried croquettes filled with melted chocolate—two classic dessert vices rolled into one. But as you can imagine, it's not exactly easy to fry chocolate. I tried bread crumbs, then shredded coconut, but neither held up in the fryer. I ultimately reached for a box of corn flakes, and eureka. Mix 1/4 cup of shredded coconut into the corn flakes if you still want a touch of that flavor.

For a casual dessert, serve the croquettes on a platter dusted with confectioners' sugar. Three 2.8-ounce bars of chocolate will give you enough for this recipe, plus a few squares to taste while you're cooking. And once again, El Rey is my chocolate of choice, but any good quality dark chocolate, such as Valrhona or Callebaut, will work.

For the coating:

To finish the croquettes:

Make the batter: In the top of a double set over gently simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter. Pour the chocolate mixture into a large bowl, add the sugar and the eggs one at a time, and whisk until combined. Whisk in the rum and flour and cool in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, or until the mixture is firm.

Place a small amount of the chocolate mixture in a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip (no. 808 if you have a professional set) and pipe 2-1/2-inch strips of chocolate onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. If you don't have a pastry bag, a plastic bag with the corner cut off (to create a 1/2-inch opening) will work just fine. Place the chocolate strips in the freezer for about 30 minutes.

Make the coating: Put the flour, eggs, and corn flakes in three separate bowls. Dip the cold piped chocolate pieces in the flour, then the eggs, then the corn flakes, and put them back on the baking sheet. I find it easiest to prepare all the croquettes at once, popping them back into the refrigerator to keep them cool before frying. They will also keep in the refrigerator up to 2 days—no longer, as the corn flakes get soggy. If you need to prepare them further in advance, freeze them, then let them thaw at room temperature for about 1 hour before frying.

Finish the croquettes: Heat the oil in a deep, heavy saucepan to 350 degrees F.

Carefully put 4 or 5 croquettes at a time into the hot oil and fry them, turning, until they are golden brown on all sides (1 to 1-1/2 minutes).

Remove the croquettes from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Repeat until all the croquettes are fried. Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve immediately.

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Crème Anglaise

For a more formal touch, place 3 or 4 croquettes on each plate and garnish with a scoop of ice cream or serve in a pool of crème anglaise.


Vanilla Crème Anglaise
Salsa de Vainilla

Makes 2 cups

In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream, milk, halved vanilla bean (including seeds) or extract, and 2 tablespoons of the sugar to a boil.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the remaining sugar. Continue whisking while pouring a small amount of the hot cream mixture into the yolks. This will temper the yolks and keep them from curdling. While whisking the hot cream mixture in the saucepan, gradually add the rest of the tempered yolks. Stir with a wooden spoon over medium-low heat until the custard coats the back of the spoon, being careful not to boil, about 4 minutes.

Let cool slightly, then strain the cream mixture through a fine sieve into a clean bowl to remove the vanilla bean and any bits of cooked yolk. Chill the custard in an ice bath (see page 195 of the book), then pour into a gravy boat or creamer for ease of pouring.


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This page created September 2010