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By Adapted from 'Authentic Mexican, ' by Rick Bayless with Deann GroenBayless, (William Morrow) / September 13, 2000



Mango Mousse

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This combination of fresh and canned mango can also be prepared with fresh and canned peaches.

1 small package peach or apricot jello 1 cup boiling water 2 large (28-ounce) cans sliced mangoes, drained of juice (peaches may be substituted) 1 cup milk 2 packages unflavored gelatin 1 cup cold water Flesh of two ripe mangoes 1 cup heavy cream Sugar to taste Dissolve jello in boiling water; set aside.

Pure the canned mangoes (or peaches) in food processor or blender with the milk.

Mix unflavored gelatin in a small pan with cold water and heat in a double boiler (or in a larger pan over simmering water) until dissolved. Add gelatin to mango mixture and blend until well mixed. Add dissolved jello and blend again.

Pour into 8-cup mold and refrigerate until set.

In the blender, pure fresh mango with heavy cream and a small amount of sugar to taste.

Serve mango cream with the mousse.

Serves 8.

Cajeta de Leche (Goat Milk Caramel)

No article on Mexican sweets would be complete without the inclusion of cajeta. This sweet confection can be bought in jars in many ethnic stores or made at home. It's a slow, but not tedious process, and the result is well worth it.

Goat milk is available in many ethnic and whole food stores. Cow's milk may be substituted, but the taste and richness will be quite different.

1 quart goat's milk 1 cup sugar 1 tablespoon corn syrup 1-inch cinnamon stick 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon rum or brandy flavoring

In a 4-quart heavy saucepan, combine milk, sugar, corn syrup, and cinnamon stick, and bring to a simmer, stirring. Dissolve the baking soda in 1 tablespoon of water, remove pan from the heat; stir in soda mixture; it will foam up, so have a spoon ready to stir it down. Return the pan to heat and adjust to a steady, rolling simmer.

Stir regularly as the mixture reduces. When the bubbles start changing from small, quick, bursting ones to larger, glassier ones (this can take up to an hour), turn heat to medium low. Stir frequently and thoroughly, until it thickens into a caramel-brown syrup. (The mixture should reduce about to 1-1/2 cups.) Strain mixture through a sieve into a small bowl. Let cool a few minutes, then stir again.

Cajeta can be used as a dessert rolled in crepes and topped with chopped nuts such as toasted almonds, as a topping for ice cream, or simply spread like peanutbutter on crackers or bread.

Makes 1-1/2 cups

Adapted from 'Authentic Mexican,' by Rick Bayless with Deann Groen Bayless, (William Morrow)

Flan de leche condensada

3/4 cup sugar 1/4 cup water 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk 1-1/2 cups water Zest from 1/2 lemon or lime 1 3-inch piece of cinnamon stick Pinch of salt 4 eggs plus 3 egg yolks 1 teaspoon pure vanilla Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Place sugar and 1/4-cup water in a small saucepan. Heat on medium and, without stirring, swirl pan gently until sugar dissolves. Turn heat to high; cover and boil for 2 minutes.

Uncover and cook until syrup turns a deep amber. Quickly pour caramel in a 2-1/2 quart oven-proof dish. Turn dish to coat bottom and sides with caramel; set aside.

In a medium saucepan combine condensed milk, 1-1/2 cups water, zest, cinnamon, and salt. Bring to boil, lower heat to simmer; cook 5 minutes, then strain mixture through a sieve (to remove zest and cinnamon) into a bowl.

In a medium bowl whisk eggs, yolks, and vanilla until blended. Gently stir the milk mixture into the egg mixture. Pour into caramelized pan, and set pan into a larger pan. Place in oven; add water to larger pan to a depth of 1 or 2 inches.

Bake 50 to 70 minutes, until sides are set and center is slightly loose. Cool to room temperature, in the pan of water, before refrigerating. Will keep 3 to 4 days.

Serves 6 to 8.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society