Chocolate Tamales

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Rick Bayless


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1 8-ounce package dried cornhusks

About 9 ounces Mexican chocolate (1 1/2 cups pulverized)

10 ounces (1 1/3 cups) unsalted butter, rich-tasting pork lard or vegetable shortening (or use a combination), slightly softened but not at all runny

1/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

2 pounds (about 4 cups) fresh coarse-ground corn masa for tamales

OR 3 1/2 cups dried masa harina for tamales mixed with 2 1/4 cups hot water

About 1 cup milk or water

2/3 cup raisins or coarsely chopped semisweet chocolate (optional)

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