Source: recipe by Rick Bayless
Makes 24 tamales
1 (8 ounce) package dried cornhusks
About 9 ounces Mexican chocolate (1 1/2 cups pulverized)
10 ounces (1 1/3 cups) unsalted butter, rich-tasting pork lard or vegetable
shortening (or use a combination), slightly softened but not at all runny
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 pounds (about 4 cups) fresh coarse-ground corn masa for tamales
or 3 1/2 cups dried Masa Harina for tamales mixed with 2 1/4 cups hot water
About 1 cup milk or water
2/3 cup raisins or coarsely chopped semisweet chocolate (optional)
For serving, optional: Assorted fresh berries, custard sauce, mint sprigs
Preparing the cornhusks. Cover the husks with very hot water, weight with a plate to keep them submerged, and let stand for a couple of hours until the husks are pliable.
For forming the tamales, separate out 24 of the largest and most pliable husks.