With over 50 detailed pictures, new e-book Vegan Tamales Unwrapped by Dora Stone will guide you step-by-step in the tamale making process. You’ll be able to make gluten-free vegan version of delicious savory and sweet tamales inspired by traditional Mexican cuisine.
Vegan Tamales Unwrapped was written by Mexican chef, Dora Stone, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, and founder of DorasTable.com, where she adapts traditional Mexican dishes to the plant-based lifestyle while preserving the beauty and richness of the different regional cuisines of Mexico.
In Vegan Tamales Unwrapped, Dora walks you through how to make the dough, different wrapping techniques, how to set-up the steamer, how long to cook them, and how to reheat them, show that making tamales no longer has to be complicated. Get started with these Vegan Chocolate Tamales!
- 1 cup (8 oz.) vegan butter, room temperature
- ⅓ cup sugar, granulated
- 4 cups (1 lb. 2 oz. Masa Harina
- 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt, kosher
- 1 ½ cups (9 oz.) Mexican chocolate, ground
- ½ tsp. cinnamon, ground
- 2 cups almond milk, unsweetened, warm
- 2 cup water, warm
- ½ cup pecans, chopped
- 2 cups chocolate chips, bittersweet
- 30 corn husks, dried
- To prepare the corn husks: Soak the corn husks in hot water, in a large pot or in your kitchen sink. Place a plate over them to weigh them down so they are completely submerged. Let them soak for at least an hour.
- To make the filling: chop the Mexican chocolate into small pieces and grind to a powder in the food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, you can grate the chocolate with a standard kitchen grater.
- To make the dough: beat the butter and sugar, on medium-high speed, with an electric mixer, until the butter has doubled in size and is nice and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the Mexican chocolate, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and beat for 1 minute to incorporate into the butter.
- Add half of the masa harina then add the almond milk. After it is completely incorporated, add the other half of masa harina and water. Beat at low speed, until thoroughly mixed. It should have the consistency of a thick cake batter. If necessary, add more water until you reach that consistency.
- For lighter and fluffier tamales, let the dough rest for an hour in the refrigerator. Remove the dough from the fridge and rebeat it, adding enough liquid to get it to the consistency it had before.
- Remove the corn husks from the water and set on paper towels. Reserve the largest husks to wrap the tamales and the small ones to line the steamer.
- To set up your steamer, fill the bottom with water making sure the water is not touching the steamer rack. Line the rack and sides of the steamer pot with corn husks. Set aside.
- To wrap the tamales, pull 24 pencil thin strips off of the corn husks and set aside. Take a husk and dry off the excess water on it with a paper towel. Place the husk in your hand with the tapered side away from you and the smooth side up. Using a spoon, spread 2-3 tbsp. of the dough (¼ inch thick) onto the corn husk, forming a 3 - 4 inch square. Leave a border of at least ¾ inch on each side of the square.
- Place 5-10 chocolate chips, and a sprinkle of chopped pecans in the center of the dough. Bring the two long sides of the corn husk together, this will cause the masa to surround the filling, and roll them in the same direction around the tamal. (If the husk is too small, fold one of the long sides towards the center, and then fold the other long side on top.) Fold down the empty tapered section of the corn husk, forming a closed bottom. This will leave the top of the tamal open. Tie with a corn husk strip to secure the bottom of the tamal.
- Place the tamal in the steamer vertically leaning against the side of the steamer, with the open end on top. Repeat this process until you run out of dough and all the tamales are in the steamer. Cover them with a layer of corn husks. If the steamer is not full, fill the empty spaces with more corn husks. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil. Turn heat down to medium and cook for 40 minutes. Check the tamales, when they separate easily from the corn husk it means they are done. If they are not done, steam for 10 more minutes and check again.
- Remove steamer from the heat and let sit covered for 10 minutes. Uncover and let cool for at least an hour. Don’t be alarmed if the tamales seem really soft. As they cool, they will firm up.