Food & Wine

Chocolate Tacos

The cover of the Tri-City Herald's Food & Wine section Feb. 11 will feature crimson hued foods - that are good for you, too - for Valentine's Day. Inside you'll find more recipes plus buying, cooking and health tips on a variety of food-related subjects.

Chocolate Tacos

While chocolate tacos may sound decadent, this is actually a no-cholesterol recipe. The dark crisp chocolate tortilla provides a textural and flavor contrast to the sweetness of ripe, fresh fruit. Topped with an icy smooth fruit sorbet, what could be better?

Serves 8

Chocolate Tortillas

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup sugar

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

2 egg whites

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup skim milk

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

To make the batter:

Place all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat until smooth with an electric mixer. Cover the batter and place it in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.

To cook and shape the tortilla:

Remove the batter from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature, which will take 20-30 minutes. Heat a small non-stick skillet or crepe pan over medium heat. Pour in a little less than 1/4 cup of batter (I use a long-handled measuring cup as my ladle) and tilt the pan quickly to spread the batter into a 6-inch circle. Once the edges look dry (2 or 3 minutes), loosen the edges with a knife and turn over the tortilla. Cook another minute or two.

Lift the soft hot chocolate tortilla out of the pan with a knife and quickly drape it over a rolling pin. It will become firm and crisp as it cools. Alternatively, if you have a taco rack, put the soft tortilla in that to firm up, teasing the middle open so that you'll have lots of room for fruit.

Hint:

If the tortilla doesn't firm up, it means it isn't thoroughly cooked, so cook it a bit longer. It should be dry when you remove it from the skillet.

Fresh Fruit Filling

2 pints strawberries, hulled and sliced (grind a tiny amount of fresh black pepper on top)

1 cup raspberries

1 cup blackberries

1/2 cup blueberries

1 mango, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes or sliced into 1/2-inch thick strips

2 kiwi, peeled and sliced into rounds

1 banana, peeled and sliced into rounds just before serving to prevent browning

Gently mix berries together in a bowl. Keep the remaining fruit separate until assembling or they'll pick up the colors from the berries.

To serve:

1/2 pint sorbet (Use a flavor of one of the fruits)

8 mint sprigs

Place a tortilla on a serving plate. Generously fill it with the berries and then tuck in the mango, kiwi and bananas. Add a scoop of sorbet and garnish with mint.

From: Chocolate for Breakfast by Barbara Passino (The Gerald & Marc Hoberman Collection, February 2009, hardcover/$35.00).

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