Many versions of this dessert, made by soaking sponge cake in condensed milk, evaporated milk and cream, are too sweet and wet. This one from chef Soledad Correa is perfect, with just a hint of cinnamon.
Mexican chocolate, which is flavored with ingredients like cinnamon, almonds and vanilla, lends a distinct flavor to Stephanie Prida's rich custard. Look for it at Mexican markets and specialty-food stores.
In Mexico, fruit often gets sprinkled with salt and chile powder and eaten as a snack. Michel Algazi and Roni Goldbert grew up eating these spicy-sweet treats. Their watermelon, honeydew and cantaloupe granitas, accented with cinnamon and cayenne, recall that childhood favorite.
Grapefruit Granité with Mangoes and White Rum Mojito
Unlike traditional granita, which is stirred frequently as it freezes so that light ice flakes form, Jacques Pépin freezes his granité in a block until it is completely firm, then softens it in the fridge until it’s slightly slushy before scooping it into bowls. The sauce for his light, tropical dessert is a riff on the mojito, the minty cocktail.
Grilled Pound Cake with Mexican Chocolate Sauce and Tropical Fruit
Michelle Bernstein is a big fan of pound cake. She makes hers with lots of butter, then sometimes slathers slices with more butter and sautés them in a heavy skillet. Here, she tops slices of warm grilled cake with a fantastic Mexican-inspired chocolate sauce flavored with cocoa, cinnamon and chile powder.
Chef Andrew Zimmerman grew up eating fluffy donuts in New Jersey, but now he favors churros—hot, crispy fried Spanish crullers. Zimmerman pipes the dough into a ribbed spiral, then coats the churros in crunchy sugar and cinnamon. They're perfect for dipping into hot chocolate.