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Peruvian Chocotejas

Peruvian Chocotejas

Jen Phanomrat

We dare you to have just one of these chocolates filled with dulce de leche goodness!

Peruvian Chocotejas

Ingredients

  • 16 oz bittersweet chocolate

  • 7 oz dulce de leche

  • Pecans

  • Dried fruit

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Transcript

- Today I'm gonna share a candy recipe that I really enjoyed while I was in Peru. It's called chocotejas. They're little melt-in-your-mouth delights filled with amazing things. So first thing you have to prepare is the dulce de leche. Now if you can't find it in the store, it's easy to make. Just take a can of sweetened condensed milk, peel off the label, then submerge it in a pot of water, bring it to a boil, and then once it comes to a boil, bring it down to a simmer and let it sit there for three and a half hours. Make sure the can is submerged the entire time in the water. You may want to go check in every 30 minutes to fill it up. Then pull it out of the water and let it cool to the side. Do not open the can. Just let it cool. When you do open it up, it'll be a beautiful amber color. I just transferred it to a little plastic baggie here. It is nice and thick. In Peru it's actually called manjar blanco. I put it in a bag for easy squeezing later. Next for the chocolate. Now you want to aim to have one that has a high percentage of cocoa butter, you have to usually read the label, and if you are using chips, make sure to use ones that aren't coated with stabilizers. Or you could just easily get a chocolate bar and chop it up. Add 75% of it into a bowl, preferably a glass bowl or a metal bowl. And then save the rest of it on the side. I'm gonna set up some double boiler action over here. So I have a pot with some water and you want to make sure that your bowl can sit right on top of the pot. What we're gonna do is temper the chocolate. So this one's in a bit of the mood, we gotta fix that. The water is simmering, just add the bowl, and slowly melt the chocolate. So the steam is gonna rise up to the bottom of the bowl and allow the chocolate to melt. You just let it sit there for about a minute. The chocolate's starting to melt, you could see the bowl here, all that condensation from the steam. Now the reason I'm tempering this is because I want the ultimate product to have a nice feel in the mouth, a little bit of snap. If you've ever melted chocolate and had it solidified, did you ever notice the little grains or moldy looking spots? That's because the chocolate isn't coming to the right temperature once it comes back to its solidified form. This is all melted. Now if you don't have a thermometer to check the temperature, here's a little tip. You can put some on the bottom of your lip and if it stings just a little bit, it's ready. It shouldn't be like super hot or room temperature. This is perfect. I'm just gonna put it aside. Remember the chocolate we reserved on the side. You're going to gradually add a little bit at a time to the melted chocolate. And let that heat slowly melt those bits of chocolate. Once all of those bits are fully melted, add a little bit more. And repeat the process. Doing these additions helps to lower the temperature of the chocolate just a little bit at a time. I'm like its anger management counselor. There are different types of Peruvian chocotejas. There's some that are covered in fondant or marzipan but my favorites are the ones covered in chocolate. There we go. Oh yeah. You see that shine? When you temper chocolate and it solidifies, it should have that shine again. It should be a little bit lukewarm, but not as hot as before. Good. I love this technique. This goes back onto the pot. You just wanna let it heat up a little bit more, not as hot as before. We're kind of playing with its emotions. We brought it down and now we're getting it all riled up again. Keeps the relationship spicy. Set the chocolate to the side and now let's talk about the fillings. Nuts and dried fruit are typical. I love pecans. One of my favorite nuts to put in my mouth. And I've also got some dried apricots. Just slice up your fruit and nuts into smaller pieces. Next you will need some type of mold. The traditional shape of a chocoteja is more cylindrical and rectangular but I like these little bonbon type molds. To create the first shell, fill up each well less than halfway up. Use a small spoon or a brush to coat the inside of the well. This is ready to be placed in the fridge for about ten minutes to solidify. Tada! Ahora, now, we're going to work with the dulce de leche. You want it to be workable, so use the heat from your hand, that's why it's great to use the plastic bag here. And just warm it up, so that we can pipe it. Put a little bit in each shell. It's not even done yet and it looks so cute. I haven't even tasted one yet and I'm on a sugar rush already. I'm gonna do a variety here so some filled with just pecans, some with just the apricots, and some with both. Time for the chocolate again. If it cooled down to the point where it's no longer runny, no problem, just heat it up again on the double boiler, and fill up all the molds. Back in the fridge it goes. These are done. Now what I love about these silicone molds is that it makes it really easy to pop out. I'm just gonna flip it over and then release the candy. Look how beautiful! You see that shine? That's why you gotta temper the chocolate. It's like bubble wrap, but better. And there you have it. Peruvian chocotejas. Let's hear that nice snap. Mmm. So many good feelings happening right now. I hope you guys give this a try. I'll see you next time. I probably have chocolate in my teeth, don't I. Bye!

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