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This recipe makes 16 medium size tamales
In Mexico, we have so many different types of tamales, there is the typical tamale known by many, as well as a dessert-type tamale. The widely known tamale uses a corn dough known as masa. The fillings for this “typical” tamale could be any one of the following: beef, pork, chicken, shrimp, vegetables or even pumpkin.
Another variation of the tamale uses a sweet-corn ground down to create the masa and is considered in many parts of Mexico as a dessert tamale. These tamales are created usually without any type of filling to give that creamy, melt in your mouth texture that cannot be described in words. This type of tamale is
considered to be a favorite by many and as you can guess, my favorite also! I grew up calling them “Cuiches”, like my grandma used to call them, but they are also known as “Uchepos” in the central region of Michoacán, and as “Tamales de Elote” in other parts of the country.
“Uchepos” are not really considered a sweet tamale in Michoacán because they are served topped with tomato sauce, cheese and cream. Some cooks add milk or cream to the dough. These sweet-corn tamale recipes have many variations during their creation. Some people use lard with the masa, while others may use butter. Additionally, some people may add flavoring to this tamale by using cinnamon, an addition of egg yolks, cheese or even raisins. But the diversity doesn’t stop there because we have the savory version that is filled with meat and dry pepper or tomato sauce, but I will leave those for another time since they deserve their own post.
I hope you try to make these tamales and enjoy their sweet flavor.
You can find a recipe of sweet tamales using masa harina HERE.
This recipe makes 16 medium size tamales
- 6 cups of sweet corn kernels (about 5 ears of corn)
- 1 1/2 cup of Corn Masa for Tamales
- 1 1/4 cup of butter at room temperature
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
* In México the starchy field corn is used, and not the regular corn you find here in the States, that is why the added corn flour.
*If Corn flour specially sold for Tamales is not available, you can use the one sold for tortilla making.
*Some corn is very juice and form a soupy consistency after processed in a food processor, if your batter is looks to wet after adding all the ingredients, add some more corn flour until it looks like the dough in the picture below.
*While forming the tamales you can overlap the small husks to form a larger tamal.
1. Cut off the end of the corn cob with a sharp knife as it shows in the above picture, you can also make a small cut to the tip of the husk to have an even wrap.
2. Remove the husks, making sure you do not tear them since you are going to use them as a wrapping for the tamales and place them in a large pot cover with hot water. This step will make the husks soft and pliable.
3. Place the cob standing up and with a sharp knife slice off downward to remove the kernels. You can place the ear of corn inside a large shallow bowl to keep all the kernels from spilling onto your working area while cutting it.
4. Place the kernels into a Food Processor to lightly grind them. The mixture has to be medium coarse. This step is usually made in a corn grinder but a food processor works just fine. If a food processor is not available, use your blender* and process in small batches.
5. Measure the corn flour and place in a large bowl along with the corn kernels already processed.
6. In another bowl, beat the butter, sugar and salt until fluffy and light. You can use a spatula for this step if you don’t want to use the mixer.
7. Add the butter mixture to the large bowl with the corn flour and kernels.
8. Add the baking powder and mix until well combine. The texture of the mix will be of a thick batter.
9. Remove the husks from the pot and drain excess water. Select the ones you are going to use to wrap the tamales. Use the small husks to cover the bottom of the Steamer where you are going to steam the tamales.
10. Place about 3 tablespoons of the dough into the center of the flatten husk and fold to form the tamales. More instructions in how to wrap a Tamal HERE.
12. Add hot water to a large pot with a steamer basket (Tamales Steamer Pot) and place tamales as above picture. Cover tamales with the rest of the corn husks and cover with the lid. Steam Tamales for 1 hour and 15 minutes. To check for doneness, unwrap a tamal. The dough will come off easily from the corn husk. If the dough sticks to corn husk, rewrap and steam 15 to 20 more minutes.
Serve warm and enjoy!
I hope you make them… If you do, please come back to let me know your experience.