Dinner By Dagny

Not just food, food with flavor

Mole Sauce (pronounce Mo-lay)

My 9 year old daughter asked for a chocolate cake, with chocolate whipped cream with chocolate chips frosting, for her birthday.  I fully indulged my daughter with this extravagance, however it left me with a whole container of cocoa powder.  Unfortunately, I’m not a chocolate person and don’t really do a lot of cake or cupcake baking.  I decided that I was going to use this to make a mole sauce.

The first time I did this I started with a raspberry chipotle barbecue sauce that I had made, added in some Indian Chili paste that had tumeric, cumin, cinnamon and cloves, all flavorings in or that pair well with the mole sauce traditional ingredients.  I added some additional tomato sauce.  The sauce was good except it was a little more Indian than Mexican.  I then took some dried chilis and steeped them with water.  I blended them with diced tomatoes and roasted peppers and added it to the sauce.  It came out great.  Unfortunately, this was a mad scientist experiment in the kitchen, which I knew I would never be able to replicate.

This time around, I kept track of my ingredients and made the sauce a day ahead.


2 dried New Mexico chiles

2 dried Chipotle chiles

1 onion, quartered

3 large garlic cloves whole

2 cups water

1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 ounces)

1 cup tomato sauce

3 tbs cocoa powder

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground cardamon

1/4 tsp ground cumin

1/8 tsp ground cloves

1 tbs peanut butter

1 tbs balsamic vinegar

1 cup chicken stock (I used 1 cup water plus a chicken boullion cube)


1.  Bring chili peppers, onion, garlic, and water to a simmer over medium heat.  Reduce to low and simmer for 25 minutes.  Peppers and garlic should be soft and onion layers translucent

2.  Pull out stems from peppers and open to remove seeds

3.  Strain ingredients to isolate seeds from mixture

4.  Blend ingredients and liquid with diced tomatoes

5.  Pour blended mixture back into same saucepan used for simmering.  Add tomato sauce, cocoa powder, cinnamon, cardamon, cloves, cumin, and peanut butter and let simmer for another 25 minutes.

6. Taste mole sauce and check consistency.  It should be a dark red color with a balanced flavor profile (not too much tomato, chocolate, or sweetness from the spices).  It should have a moderately thick consistency.  Add balsamic vinegar and chicken stock, simmer for another 10 minutes

7.  Let rest for 2-3 hours, or overnight preferably

Once the sauce is done, you can do with it what you like.  I have used it as the sauce for pulled chicken, used that chicken as the base for my enchiladas, and added some chicken to it and let it bake in the oven.  This all worked well.  Tomorrow, I will be using it to braise some pork.


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