(This recipe appeared in the Summer 2022 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)
As a Southern California native, and having spent most of my life in San Diego, Mexican food has been a large part of my culinary experience. Authentic Mexican food is especially sought after here, as we are just 30 minutes north of the Mexican border. I have always wondered what a dessert version of the staple appetizer brought to every Mexican food restaurant patron’s table would taste like. Here is what I’ve come up with as the sweet version of chips, salsa & guacamole, with a dessert “mocktail” margarita to wash it all down with. It’s a cold, spicy, light, surprisingly healthy (and even vegan, for the most part) dessert that probably shouldn’t work, but strangely, it’s súper delicioso¡.
Yield: 8 servings
Crispy Thin ‘Tortilla Chip’ Cookies:
- 337 g unsalted butter, softened (substitute vegan butter sticks if desired)
- 200 g brown sugar
- 200 g granulated sugar
- 0.7 g sea salt
- 10 ml Mexican Vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 280g all-purpose flour
- 4 g baking powder
- 112 g finely chopped almonds
- Preheat oven to 350˚F (177˚C).
- Cream together the butter and sugars, salt and vanilla for about 5-6 minutes, until light and airy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and incorporate well.
- Combine the flour and baking powder, then add to the butter mixture half at a time, and mix until incorporated. Stir in almonds.
- Line full sheet pans with parchment. Using a 2-oz scoop, place scoops on the parchment about 4-5ʺ (10.2-12.7 cm) apart, and spread out in a corn tortilla-sized circle, about 3mm thick (the cookies will spread slightly, so leave some space between). Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the edges are slightly darker than golden brown. Let cool on the pans, set on cooling racks, for about 4-5 minutes, then using a pizza wheel, cut into 6-8 triangular pieces, like tortilla chips. Let cool completely.
- 500 g Ghirardelli 72% Cacao Dark Chocolate Chips
- 80 g extra-virgin coconut oil
- In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the Ghirardelli’s 72% Cacao Dark Chocolate Chips and coconut oil 40 second increments, stirring between until smooth. Let cool for about 5 minutes.
- Dip a portion of 1/2 the amount of ‘tortilla chip’ cookies in the chocolate mixture, let excess drip off, then place on parchment-lined sheet pans.3. Let the chocolate set up in a cool location. To serve, place some of each of the chips – both dipped and plain – in a bowl or basket, accompanied by the ‘salsa’ and ‘guacamole’.
Vegan Chocolate ‘Guacamole’ Pudding:
- Flesh of 2 large Haas avocados
- Seeds scraped from 1 Tahitian vanilla bean
- 100 g Ghirardelli’s Majestic Cocoa Powder, sifted
- 120 ml B grade pure maple syrup
- 60 ml raw honey
- 120-180 ml fresh tangerine juice
- 50 g coconut sticks, thinly shaved
- 70g dehydrated banana slices or unsweetened banana chips, chopped coarsely
- Crème fraiche, for garnish
- In a large, powerful blender, blend the avocado, vanilla bean seeds, cocoa powder, maple syrup, honey and 120 ml of the tangerine juice together, scraping down the sides as needed, until the pudding is smooth and creamy. Add additional tangerine juice as needed. Scrape the pudding into a shallow, glass pan; cover and refrigerate for about an hour.
- Once the pudding is cold, stir in the thin coconut shavings and coarsely chopped banana pieces. To serve; spoon into a dish and top with a dollop of crème fraiche.
Spicy Raspberry Purée:
- 340 g frozen raspberries
- 100 g granulated sugar
- 120 ml water
- 1 finely chopped ghost pepper (a jalapeño, Serrano, or habañero pepper can be used as well, depending on the level of heat you desire)
- In a saucepan, cook the raspberries, sugar and water along with the chili pepper until reduced by half and slightly thickened.
- Strain into a glass container, pushing through the purée, and leaving the seeds and remaining chili pieces behind (discard). (The mixture can be thinned out with some simple syrup if it becomes too thick.) Cover and refrigerate until cold.
Note: the Spicy Raspberry Purée is meant to be mixed into the cut fruits according to a patron’s ‘heat index’ request (similar to when ordering Thai food, a patron requests a certain heat number 1-10). For a ‘no-heat’ request, leave the base out of the cut fruit. For a level 10, add a lot of it.
- 900 g strawberries
- 340 g raspberries, broken into pieces
- 1 large mango
- 4 large sprigs of chocolate mint (or regular mint) leaves removed, stacked and cut into thin ribbons
- 120 g Ghirardelli Classic White Chips
- Mix all ingredients together.
- To serve, add the desired amount of the Spicy Raspberry Purée, portion into a dish and serve with the ‘chips’ and ‘guacamole’.
White Chocolate ‘Margarita’ Mocktail:*
- 120 ml coconut milk
- 60 ml non-dairy creamer
- 115 g Ghirardelli Sweet White Chocolate Powder
- 25 ml cocktail lime juice
- 500 ml ice
- Margarita salt
- Ghirardelli White Chocolate Flavored Sauce
- Lime slice, for garnish
- Blend all ingredients except the last 3 together in a high power blender until ice has fully broken down.
- Rim a margarita glass with the Ghirardelli White Chocolate Flavored Sauce and dip the rim into the margarita salt. Pour the drink into the glass and garnish with the lime slice on the edge of the cup.
*Note: To make this into a fully loaded cocktail, add 1.5 oz of good quality tequila