Describing a good mole sauce is like describing Dvorak’s New World Symphony. There are hundreds of layers of flavor starting with succulent and ending with sweet heat…the texture is rich and velvety, but hearty and satisfying at the same time. Complex doesn’t begin to describe this versatile south of the border mole sauce recipe made with the darkest of dark chocolates. There are a lot of ingredients but this homemade mole really does go together easily. This recipe is sponsored by Divine Chocolate as part of #Choctoberfest. All opinions are my own.
For this mole poblano recipe you’ll need: oil, a variety of dried chiles, garlic, whole cloves (the spice), star anise, tortilla chips, diced tomatoes with chiles, onion, raisins, pumpkin seeds, almonds, sesame seeds, bananas, ground cinnamon, chicken stock, Divine Chocolate 100% Chocolate Bar, chili powder, brown sugar, salt
Mole Sauce Recipe: The Backstory
Living in Texas means that I’ve had my share of Mexican food, good AND bad. I’ve been to 5 star, authentic Mexican restaurants and yummy little holes in the wall but I’ve never found a mole sauce that I liked better than this one… and I didn’t even have this one in Texas.
I was in Salt Lake City, Utah for a conference and after the second day my friend and I decided to head to a little Vietnamese place that we’d read about on Yelp. We called for an Uber and sank into the back seats, giving the driver the address. Exhausted doesn’t begin to describe how we felt!
We chatted with the driver on the way and soon were at the Vietnamese place… which looked kinda seedy and a little scary.
I looked at my friend and she looked at me. We knew we were in agreement…
“SO,” she said to the driver, ” do you have any recommendations?”
He smiled and told us about Red Iguana. We settled back in the seat and were on our way.
So, at Red Iguana we both had mole but different types. I went with a classic mole poblano over turkey and I was totally hooked. I knew that I was going to recreate this mole recipe for #Choctoberfest!
Mole Sauce Recipe FAQs
Skill: Easy – anyone can make this!
What is mole sauce made out of?
Mole sauce is made from 20 or more ingredients which always include dried chiles and chocolate. There are several different varieties and each variety has numerous variations depending on who’s doing the cooking!
How do I make mole sauce?
It’s a very easy recipe even though there are so many ingredients.
- Saute the chiles and dry ingredients in a heavy frying pan – a cast iron skillet is great.
- Add the wet ingredients and simmer, adding chicken stock as necessary.
- When all the ingredients are soft puree them in a blender.
- Melt the chocolate and chili powder together over medium heat and stir until smooth.
- Add the puree to the chocolate mixture, bring to a boil, and adjust seasonings.
- Simmer until thickened and smooth.
- It’s best if it sits overnight in the refrigerator.
How long does it take to make mole sauce?
Traditionally mole is simmered slowly over low heat but this mole poblano takes less than an hour.
What does mole sauce taste like?
Ummm… Heaven? Mole is spicy and fruity, with meaty undertones. The chocolate softens the flavors of the peppers and brings everything together. It doesn’t taste like a candy bar!
What is mole used for?
It’s often served over chicken or turkey – it’s a great way to use up leftover Thanksgiving turkey! Sometimes mole is used as a sauce for enchiladas.
About Divine Chocolate
Divine Chocolate US provided the chocolate for this mole sauce recipe. Their cocoa is grown on family farms in Ghana and is Fair Trade. In fact, those family farmers own 44% of the company and share in the profits. I was super impressed with this because of my personal convictions so I went to the website to read more.
In a cocoa shell (get it? cocoa shell? in a nut shell? in a cocoa shell? nevermind) There is a minimum Fair Trade price guarantee of $2000 per ton to protect farmers from the ups and downs of the market. On top of that the cooperative recieves an additional $200 per ton to invest in projects that improve the farmers’ living conditions, health, and education as well as productivity.
A percentage of the price of each Divine chocolate goes towards producer support and development which is spend on farmer education and maintaining the vision of the cooperative. The cooperative ALSO has two places on the Board so it can have a part in how Divine is developed.
And that’s all awesome but there’s more. Divine is empowering women farmers in a largely male dominated field by giving them equal opportunities to training, the ability to increase income, and with that increase – the financial security to keep their daughters in school.
Pretty darn impressive.
The 100% chocolate bar that I used in this mole is smooth and full of dark chocolate flavor. You can see how creamily it melted… and it’s vegan!
More Mexican Inspired Recipes on Restless Chipotle
Since Mexican food is one of my favorites I have a ton of recipes for you to try! Here are some of my favorites.
- Mexican Street Corn Soup
- Spiked Mexican Hot Chocolate
- Slow Cooker White Chicken Chile
- Chicken Enchiladas
- Beef Enchiladas
- Slow Cooker Barbacoa
Easy Mole Sauce Recipe
This easy mole sauce recipe is so good. It makes about a quart and a half and it freezes well. Try some over leftover turkey after Thanksgiving – SO good! If you love this recipe please give it 5 stars! #MakeSomethingDivine
This easy, mole sauce recipe is spicy and complex. So easy to make fresh mole from scratch! Use it over chicken, turkey, or pork. Freeze leftovers for another time.
- 4 tablespoons oil divided
- 3 pasilla chiles seeded and coarsely chopped
- 5 guajillo chiles seeded and coarsely chopped
- 2 chipotle chiles seeded and chopped
- 4 ancho chiles seeded and chopped
- 2 chiles negros seeded and chopped
- 1 head garlic peeled and chopped
- 8 whole cloves
- 2 star anise
- 1 cup tortilla chips stale and broken
- 14.5 ounces diced tomatoes with chiles
- 1 cup onion chopped
- 3/4 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds roasted
- 1/4 cup almonds
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds
- 3 ripe bananas chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon roasted cinnamon if possible
- 2 to 3 cups chicken stock
- 5.3 ounces Divine Chocolate 100% Chocolate Bar
- ½ cup chili powder try my homemade chili powder
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar or more to taste
- Salt to taste
In a heavy (cast iron is best) frying pan heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat.
Add the chopped dried chiles, garlic, cloves, pumpkin seeds, almonds, sesame seeds, and tortilla chips.
Cook for 5 minutes, or until chiles are softened and begin to brown. Don't scorch the garlic!
Add the tomatoes, onion, raisins, bananas, cinnamon, and 1 cup of chicken stock.
Simmer for 20 minutes or so, adding more stock as needed, until all the ingredients are soft.
Place in a blender, about 2 cups at a time, and puree adding chicken stock as needed until the mole is a smooth, thick paste.
Heat the remaining two tablespoons oil over medium heat.
Add the chili powder and the chocolate.
Cook, stirring constantly, until chocolate and chili are melted together and smooth - be careful not to scorch!
Stir the pureed mixture into the chocolate mixture.
Bring to a boil, adding more chicken stock as needed to reach desired consistency.
Add sugar and salt to taste.
Use any combination of dried chiles that you like and are available in your area.
More #Choctoberfest Chocolate Recipes