It’s the middle of November. I should be posting about pumpkin bread and butternut squash. I promise, I’ll get to those soon. But right now, all I can think about is this Chocolate Mole Sauce. It is the perfect combination of spicy and sweet, dinner and dessert, Mexican food and chocolate. It is a chocoholic’s dream come true.
I would drink this sauce if I could, but it’s probably best to put it on some actual food. I used lightly seasoned sweet potatoes, black beans, and rice to complement the sauce without overpowering the rich chocolate flavor. Add some sliced avocado on top of this wonderful mole mess and you have basically achieved culinary perfection.
Now, as much as I like spicy food, I’m just not really equipped to handle it. Mole (Spanish for “sauce”) is made many different ways, often without chocolate, but it always has some combination of chili peppers. Depending on the type of mole, the flavors and level of heat of the peppers in the sauce can vary. I love the flavor of poblano and chipotle chilis, but I tried to keep my mole as mild as possible by only adding one of each. If you’re one of those people who carries around a pocket-sized Sriracha sauce and can handle the heat, by all means add more chilis! The secret to this sauce is to simmer it slowly on a low heat and keep adding things until it tastes right to you. If you’re not sure how spicy you want it, try it with only one or two chilis, and if it’s not spicy enough for you, add a few more. I can guarantee you’ll love this sauce even if it doesn’t burn your face off.
I made this sauce two ways. I used solid vegan chocolate, dried ancho (a.k.a. poblano) peppers, and canned chipotle chili peppers in one version, and tried another version with cacao powder, ancho powder, and chipotle powder. The “powdered” version ended up being way too spicy for me, but I will post both below since they both got a thumbs up from my very brave (and non-vegan!) taste testers.
Since it was an extremely chocolatey dinner, I decided to serve a lighter dessert: Key Lime Pie! I used my own Gluten Free Pie Crust with with this really simple cashew-based filling recipe, which also got the approval of my non-vegan dinner guests.
I now present what might possibly be my favorite dinner of all time, Gluten Free/Vegan Chocolate Mole Enchiladas!
For the sauce:
2 tbsp Nutiva vegan shortening or coconut oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 white onion, diced
1 tomato, diced
1 dried ancho chili (also called poblano), stemmed and seeded
1 chipotle chili from a can, stemmed and seeded*
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
4.5 oz vegan dark chocolate (I used one and a half bars of Taza 80% dark chocolate)
1.5 cups water
2 tbsp almond butter
For the fillings:
1 can black beans
1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
2 cups of rice
4 cups of vegetable stock
2 avocados, sliced
Brown rice or corn tortillas
For the alternative “powdered” version of the sauce (note, this will be spicier than the version shown above), keep all ingredients previously listed except:
Replace dried ancho chile with 1 tsp ancho chili powder
Replace canned chipotle chile with 1 tsp chipotle chili powder
Replace vegan dark chocolate with 3-4 tbsp cacao powder
Add 1 tsp white or brown sugar
Add 1 tbsp full fat canned coconut milk
*Tip: take your leftover chipotle chilis out of the can and store them in a plastic or glass container in the fridge for a few weeks to use them in other recipes!
- Preheat the oven to 425F
- Dice the onions, garlic, tomato, and sweet potato.
- Place the sweet potato on a tray and drizzle with olive oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Bake at 425F in the oven for 45 minutes.
- WEARING GLOVES, seed and stem the chilis. The oils from the chilis can burn the skin on your hands and if you touch your eyes, it will not be pleasant. The chili seeds can pack some serious heat, so if you don’t want your sauce to be too spicy, you should remove the seeds from the inside. Cut off the stem of the chili with a sharp knife, and then slice lengthwise along the chili to open it. Remove the seeds with a knife or by running under water.
- In a small frying pan, toast the chilis (dry, no cooking oil) for 3-5 minutes on medium heat. Once they are done, set aside.
- Melt the shortening in a saucepan. Add the diced onion and garlic, and let it cook for 5 minutes on medium heat. Lower the heat a little bit and add the tomato and banana, cooking another 5 minutes.
- Add the cinnamon, pepper, and salt into the saucepan and mix to combine.
- Add the chocolate (or cacao powder), water, and almond butter to the saucepan, and stir this until the chocolate is melted and everything is combined.
- Add the chilis to the saucepan mixture and simmer everything, covered, for 20 minutes on low heat.
- While the mole is simmering, bring 4 cups of vegetable bouillon to a boil on high heat in a separate pot. Then add the 2 cups of rice, lower to medium heat, and let it cook for 20 minutes.
- After the mole has simmered for 20 minutes, it’s time to blend it (I recommend doing half the sauce at a time to avoid it boiling over in the blender and burning your hand). Process the sauce in the blender until smooth.
- Pour it back into the saucepan and continue simmering for another 10 minutes. If you have used the chili powder instead of the dried chilis and want to cut the spice a little bit, add 1 tsp sugar and 1 tbsp coconut milk at this point. If you have used solid dark chocolate, you can also add the sugar if the sauce is not sweet enough for you.
- Drain and rinse the can of black beans in a strainer over the sink. Heat in a bowl in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.
- Slice the avocado and set aside.
- Once the sauce has simmered for ten minutes after blending, assemble the enchiladas. Place rice, beans, sweet potatoes, and avocado slices in a tortilla and roll it up. Pour the sauce over the tortilla and you’re ready to eat!