Tamales are stuffed tortillas covered with corn husks. In many Latin American countries, corn husks are used as wrappers for cooking food. This simple primitive method allows the food to cook without drying out and gives it a distinctive flavor. There are numerous versions: stuffings made with meat or corn flour, or a sweet dessert version, as in this recipe.
- To know if the dough is the right consistency before cooking it, roll out a little ball and drop it into water; if it floats, it’s perfect; otherwise mix in a little butter to soften it.
- To check the tamales for doneness, remove one and unwrap it; the corn husks should no longer stick to the filling.
- Instead of candied Barbary fig, you can used candied angelica which is more readily available.
- remove the corn husks; soak them in hot water to tenderize them;
- combine the rice flour with the baking powder; beat the butter until creamy; gradually add the flour to the butter until well incorporated; add the sugar last;
- finely chop the raisins, pine nuts, almonds and candied nopal; marinate in the anisette and cream;
- spread the corn husks out on a work surface;
- place 2 tbsp. of the dough and a little of the raisin filling on each one;
- fold the two sides of the husks in towards the center; roll up into a little package; tie with kitchen string;
- take a large pot and pour in approximately 5 cm (2”) of water; place a rack over top, being sure that it is not touching the water; line with corn husks; place the tamales on top; cover with more corn husks and a tea towel folded to fit the size of the pot; close tightly to keep in all the steam; cook over medium heat for one hour;
- untie the packages and pile on a serving platter.
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