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Magic Ingredient: Black Onyx Cocoa Powder

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Over the weekend, I made Rick Bayless‘ legendary mole negro. This was my second time taking on the recipe (my first attempt took me 10 hours) and this time I was prepared. On Friday, I shopped for my primary ingredients at Rancho Liborio in Aurora, picked up chicken at Marczyk Fine Foods, and stopped into Savory Spice Shop in Lowry for cinnamon, Mexican oregano, and guajillo chiles. While there, I asked about Mexican chocolate (I was unable to find it at Rancho Liborio), and was introduced to black onyx cocoa powder. This velvety dust is black as coal and it smells heavenly. I bought an ounce, which was plenty for the two tablespoons (subbed in for the half a cup of chopped Mexican chocolate) I needed. The final result was a mole that was silky, smooth, with just a perceptible hint of chocolate. And this time, the recipe only took me seven hours.

Bonus: Make Roberto Santibañez‘s chicken enchiladas with the leftover mole. And, Joy the Baker’s black midnight chocolate pudding recipe will gobble up any remaining cocoa powder.

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Amanda M. Faison, 5280 Contributor

Freelance writer Amanda M. Faison spent 20 years at 5280 Magazine, 12 of those as Food Editor.

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