My BFF was in town last weekend. The last time I saw her was on a pit stop in Tucson, Arizona. I was traveling via Amtrak from Houston to Los Angeles and stopped off for a quick visit to my old stomping grounds. The time before that, we were in Guatemala. Jen was living and teaching there. I had just finished a Yoga Teacher Training in Costa Rica and thought I’d stop by while in the neighborhood.
During our travels in Guatemala, we spent some time in Antigua. Getting to Antigua was rough. We traveled by bus for twelve hours straight and stumbled out of the bus and headed straight for the hostel. Our room wasn’t ready yet and the smell of postres and cafe was stronger than the urge to sleep in the lobby so we took a stroll. And we ran right into the Antigua Cooking School. The last class they were offering that weekend was starting in ten minutes. I decided that I would freshen up in their bathroom, take a cafe and sign up.
They say that you remember the first and last things that you study and this class was no exception. We started with a thick stack of warm corn tortillas and cold rosa de jamaica and ended with a creamy chayote squash pudding thickened with cookie crumbs. Then a long nap…
Last week we tucked hundreds of little zucchini plants into the ground. And it’s only a matter of time before they start flowering and fruiting like crazy. With fond memories of the past and anticipation of the future, here is my version of dulce de guisquil made with zucchini instead of chayote squash. (You’ll thank me later; right after you peel a chayote squash and your hands are covered with the most persistent latex coating.) However, you can use any type of summer squash in this recipe.
Dulce de Guisquil y Chocolate Recipe
Makes four cups
1 pound zucchini (about 3 small)
1/4 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
1.6 ounces dark chocolate (about half of a standard sized bar)
2/3 cup graham crackers or sugar cookies
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
hazelnut oil (optional garnish)
Cut zucchini into 1 inch pieces. Put in medium saucepan. Add maple syrup and water. Simmer for 30 minutes.
Transfer to food processor or blender and process until smooth. Return to saucepan.
Heat over low heat. Add ground flaxseed and stir until well mixed.
Increase heat to medium and add chocolate, cookies, vanilla and cinnamon. Stir for 5 more minutes until chocolate is incorporated.
Serve warm in small bowls. If desired, garnish with cookie crumbles, hazelnut oil and berries.