Today is "National Chocolate Day," a holiday every chocolate lover wants to celebrate. According to Mintel, a global research company, "about 85 percent of Americans purchase chocolate annually with sales hitting $21 billion in 2014" and the business intelligence company Euromonitor reported that this year "they will consume nearly $18 billion worth of chocolate," it seems like we all love this treat. In appreciation of this delicious unofficial holiday, we want to share an amazing Mexican chocolate donuts recipe for you to try it at home; feel free to indulge in chocolate today without any guilt.

Mexican chocolate donuts by Chef Pati Jinich from Pati's Mexican table

Serves: makes 12 mini donuts or 8 pancakes

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 Mexican chocolate bars (each about 3 ounces), cut into large chunks
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of kosher or coarse sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 1 large egg
  • Special equipment, optional – Ebleskiver filled pancake pan
  • Fillings, La Lechera dulce de leche or cajeta, chocolate and hazelnut spread, jams or preserves
  • Confectioners' sugar (optional, for dusting)

Preparation:

In a medium saucepan, heat milk over medium-low heat. Add chocolate chunks and stir occasionally until it has dissolved, a few minutes. Remove from heat and using a molinillo or whisk, emulsify, or foam as much as you can. Set aside. 

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour with the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the melted butter to the dry ingredients as well as the beaten egg and start to mix with a spatula. Slowly, pour the Mexican chocolate milk, mixing fast so the egg will not cook (!) if the milk is still hot. Continue to combine until you get an even and homogeneous batter, just a minute or so. You should have a shiny and a bit runny batter. Taste it: it’s so good! Let it sit for a few minutes, it will fluff up a bit, which is what you want. 

Meanwhile, heat your special pan or skillet over low to medium-low heat until very hot, about 4 or 5 minutes. Butter the pan and spoon batter into each hole, about 3/4 of the way up each cup. Once you can move the balloons around (like when pancakes are ready to flip), but the batter in the center can still be runny, you can add half a teaspoon of a filling of your choice. Cover with a bit more batter to fill the cups just a tad beyond the rim. Using two spoons or two wooden skewers, flip the donuts to the other side. Give them a minute or two and remove from the pan. Dust with confectioners' sugar, if desired, (I always do!) and eat while hot. 

If making normal pancakes, cook like regular pancakes. Heat the skillet over medium-low heat until very hot. Grease with unsalted butter and ladle batter into the pan. Flip once the top shows bubbles and the bottom is cooked enough to be released from the pan. Cook on the other side for a minute or two and serve. Add the fillings as toppings instead of as a filling.