A few years back, my daughter and I tasted a sauce on our enchiladas. It was divine. Who wouldn’t love a sauce made with chocolate? During the last while, we’ve made pasta and ice cream and sushi from scratch… how hard could making a basic mole be?
Let me warn you now. Making a Mexican mole from scratch is not to be done alone, or when you’re feeling tired, or when you have only an hour or two free. With two people working non-stop, this dish took us three hours to prepare. We fried and blended nuts, mashed toasted sesame seeds, roasted, soaked, blitzed and strained peppers… When I thought surely we were done and ready to add the bitter chocolate, we weren’t there yet.
Here’s how it went in photos. I won’t try to instruct you on all the steps… if you really want to give this a try, use the link at the end and learn from a Mexican woman who makes it seem simple (ha!)
Hover for captions.
While I sliced, de-seeded, roasted and soaked the peppers, my daughter worked at frying peanuts, almonds, sesame seeds, spices, pieces of corn tortilla, onions, tomatoes, raisins, prunes and a plaintain – all of this would eventually be part of the sauce.
We processed the peppers together. After soaking them, we blended them, adding more and more of the soaking liquid until the mixture was pourable. I poured and my daughter strained the mixture into some hot butter. Bitter chocolate was added to this. Then, everything we’d worked on for hours came together. The mole should have been smooth, but it wasn’t, so we used an immersion blender to finish it off.
We made our mole following instructions from this video (it’s in Spanish, but you may be able to catch the gist without the language – you can follow what she’s doing by watching and google translate the quantities and ingredients): Mole Poblano Tradicional.