HELP! I'm hoping someone out there who is familiar with Mexican Chocolate can help me come up with the most suitable substitution. I am supposed to make "Mexican Chocolate Cake" (CL August 2004) for our Supper Club THIS TUESDAY evening, and the recipe calls for 1 ounce of Mexican chocolate (such as Ibarra). I have looked in my local grocery stores -- even Meijer, which has a "World Market" section with all sorts of Mexican stuff, but NO Mexican Chocolate. Obviously I didn't plan far enough ahead to order this online!
Some of you may notice that I live in Cincinnati and think I should just run to Jungle Jim's, which undoubtedly would have some. Unfortunately I live quite a distance from Jungle Jim's, and my schedule tomorrow won't allow me to make a trip there AND actually bake the cake.
So, I'm wondering what I should substitute for the Mexican chocolate. The chocolate is to be melted with 1 Tbsp. of fat free milk and then drizzled over the cake. The Mexican chocolate is described as being "sweet, with a touch of cinnamon". I was wondering if I should just use semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips and sprinkle in a bit of cinnamon? Or is there a particular brand of chocolate (readily available in a normal grocery store) that I should use? And if I add cinnamon, how much cinnamon flavor does the Mexican chocolate normally have? Lots? just a hint?
Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. THANKS!
First, did you look for the Mexican chocolate where the hot chocolate mixes are sold? That is where you will often find it -- as well as with other Mexican/Hispanic foods.
If you cannot find it, I would use chocolate, probably semisweet, and add some cinnamon. More than a sprinkle. Maybe 1/4 tsp.? I haven't tried different brands (yet) but the cinnamon is pretty pronounced in what I have had.
All of the Meijer's in Indy carry Mexican chocolate, but it can be easy to miss in the store. In my local Meijer, it's on one of the higher shelves in the authentic Mexican food items (not where the Pace and Old El Paso stuff is). I think they sell the Nestle brand, which on my box is called Abuelita. It has an older woman getting ready to sip a cup of what appears to be coffee but is actually hot chocolate on the box. The box says Authentic Mexican Chocolate Drink Mix on the front. The box is hexagonal in shape (from the top). It would be really easy to not realize that this is the same as the Ibara type.
I would think the Cinnamon Chips would be a good substitute. They also have those at Meijer.
Julie, the Meijer did have something that looked like Mexican hot chocolate, but I assumed it was a powder rather than the solid chocolate. I'll go back and see if it was that Abuelita brand you mentioned. I seem to remember a woman looking like she was sipping hot chocolate. I need to go to the regular grocery today anyway, so I'll check.
If not, I'll probably substitute the semi-sweet chocolate chips with cinnamon in it.
Thanks for all the help!
Julie -- THANK YOU!!!! I went back to Meijer this morning, looked right where I had been looking the other day, and voila -- there was the Abuelita chocolate that I thought was powdered. Had I picked it up the first day I was there, I probably would have realized it felt solid. The fact that it was Nestle brand and had a woman sipping hot chocolate on the front really threw me off. I feel much better knowing I now have the "correct" item to make an authentic "Mexican Chocolate Cake". (And I didn't have to drive clear up to Jungle Jim's!) Thanks again!
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