Mole roasted almonds with chocolate and chilies are the the perfect crunchy and slightly sweet snack!
Anyone else get that scene from Austin Powers stuck in their head every time you see mole on a menu? Oh, it's just me? That's cool.
Now that I've got that out of my system, let's talk about the magical combination of chocolate and chilies that makes mole. It sounds weird, I know. I was totally freaked out the first time I accidentally ordered chicken in mole sauce on a family trip to Mexico. As soon as the waiter walked away, my dad leaned over and said "You know there's chocolate in that." Umm, chocolate and chicken? This was much too intense for my 16-year-old palate. I debated hunting down the waiter and changing my order, but somehow my dad convinced me to give it a try. As I'm sure you guessed, I loved it, and then ate so much that to this day, I still remember how badly my stomach hurt.
Mole is a type of sauce common in Mexican cuisine. There's actually a couple different types, but mole poblano, made with dried chilies, chocolate and other spices, is most popular. In case you're totally freaked out about the whole spicy chocolate sauce thing, please know it's not like you're dropping Hershey's bars into your enchiladas. The chocolate used in mole is bitter and usually unsweetened, counteracting the spice of the chilies and adding a rich depth of flavor. Need more proof? Please see Mexican chocolate ice cream, spicy double chocolate cookies, and then drive to Asheville to visit French Broad Chocolate lounge and order one of their spicy nibbly brownies. Oh, and make these almonds too.
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- 1 egg white
- 1 tablespoon water
- 4 cups raw almonds
- 2 tablespoons unrefined, brown sugar
- 1 1/2 ounces dark chocolate, finely grated with a microplane grater
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet.
- In a large bowl, beat egg white and water until frothy. Stir in almonds.
- In another large bowl, whisk together sugar, chocolate, cocoa powder, chili powder, cinnamon, cayenne and sea salt. Using a slotted spoon, remove almonds from egg white mixture and place in the chocolate mixture. Stir to combine and coat the almonds.
- Pour the almonds on to the baking sheet and spread evenly. Bake 30-40 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes until crispy.
- Remove from oven, set aside to cool. Once cool, store covered at room temperature.