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Guayaba-mole

Chocolate Guajillo Crunch
By Lou Bank

This is what I imagine Butterfingers would have been if the Curtiss Candy Company had been located in Oaxaca instead of Chicago.

Ingredients:
16 oz. sugar
16 oz. water
18 fresh (not dried) guajillo chiles
10 oz. bittersweet chocolate

Recipe:
Use the blowtorch to burn the skin of the guajillos. Remove stems and seeds, and as much membrane as possible; wash off most of the burnt skin.

Combine 16 oz. water and 16 oz. of sugar in a pot. Heat over medium heat to a simmer. Drop in the chiles, cover, remove from heat, and let steep for three to six hours.

Strain the simple syrup, putting the syrup into a jar that can be stored in the refrigerator. Puree the guajillos in a food processor.

Pour pureed guajillos into a fruit-leather base and drop into a 150-degree dehydrator. After two days, use a spatula to flip the guajillo leather over. Put back into dehydrator until crunchy, about another day.

Cut the crunchy guajillo plank into rectangles. Grate the chocolate. Heat 5 oz. of the guajillo syrup to 125 degrees. In a bowl, pour the heated syrup over the grated chocolate; whisk until chocolate is smooth. (You may need to put the bowl over a pot of heated water to get to this stage.)

Once smooth, dip the crunchy guajillo rectangles into the chocolate, and place on a parchment paper-lined tray. Let sit at room temperature until the chocolate is set enough that you can lift the chocolate-covered guajillo crunches off the paper without leaving the chocolate behind.

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