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Chocolate paletas

August 25, 2010

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Makes 8 popsicles

Paleta comes from the Spanish word “palo,’’ meaning stick. You need a popsicle mold to make these. Use arrowroot powder, available at specialty markets, if you want a smoother consistency, though it’s not necessary. Ancho chili powder is available at Mexican markets and specialty stores such as Christina’s (1255 Cambridge St., Cambridge, 617-492-7021). Add an extra 1/4 teaspoon if you like spice. If ancho is unavailable, use another chili powder.

3 1/2 cups half-and-half
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup grated 55 percent dark chocolate
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon arrowroot powder mixed with 2 tablespoons half-and-half (optional)

1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the half-and-half and sugar. Cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil.

2. Turn off the heat and stir in the chocolate. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, chili powder, and salt.

3. If using the arrowroot powder and half-and-half, stir into the chocolate mixture.

4. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Chill for 30 minutes.

5. Divide among the molds. Freeze for at least 2 hours or for as long as 2 days. Before unmolding the popsicles, run quickly under warm water.

Luke Pyenson. Adapted from Locopops.