Choco-Nacho from 'Ultimate Nachos'

Choco-Nacho from 'Ultimate Nachos'

[Photograph: Karen Wise]

The dessert chapter in Lee Frank and Rachel Anderson's Ultimate Nachos is short and sweet, as it should be. Around half of the sweets aren't nachos per se, but they have flavors in common, like corn and avocado. The other half are, of course, chip-based. For example, these chocolatey 'chos take a quick dip in semisweet ganache before being drizzled with goat's milk cajeta—aka caramel sauce with attitude. Instead of the usual mild sweetness of cream, goat's milk contributes tart, grassy depth to the sauce, transforming it from an ordinary dessert topping to a delicious dinner party curiosity.

Why I picked this recipe: Sweet, salty, and spicy, this simple dish hits all of the important dessert buttons.

What worked: Funky goat's milk cajeta and rich ganache are elegant foils to the salty-crunchy tortilla chip.

What didn't: As written, the cajeta is pretty thin. Good for drizzling, I suppose, but it would have a fuller caramel flavor if cooked twice as long. Just be sure to stir! And use a high-sided pot to avoid boil overs!

Suggested tweaks: I made the tortilla chips from scratch for this recipe, and I'd definitely do so again. Home fried chips are thicker, more crisp, and the perfect touch to an otherwise super easy recipe. If you can't get your hands on goat's milk, you can certainly go with cream (it'll be thicker) or whole cow's milk.

Reprinted with permission from Ultimate Nachos: From Nachos and Guacamole to Salsas and Cocktails by Lee Frank and Rachel Anderson, copyright 2013. Published by St. Martin's Griffin. All rights reserved. Available wherever books are sold.

  • Yield:Serves 4
  • Active time: 30 minutes
  • Total time:45 minutes


  • 16 perfect chips; if prepared fresh, use 4 corn tortillas, each cut into 4 triangles
  • Chocolate Cayenne Ganache
  • 3 1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • Goat's Milk Caramel (Cajeta)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 cups goat’s milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. 1.

    To make the ganache in the microwave: In a microwave safe bowl, combine the chopped chocolate and heavy cream. Microwave until the chocolate starts to melt, about 1 minute.

  2. 2.

    Stir and continue to microwave at 15-second intervals until smooth.
    Be careful not to burn the ganache. If it burns, there’s no way to save it. When the ganache is melted and smooth, add the cayenne.

  3. 3.

    To make the ganache on the stovetop: Fill a medium saucepan halfway with water and bring to a simmer over low heat.

  4. 4.

    Add the chopped chocolate and cream to a heatproof glass bowl. Place over the saucepan of simmering water; the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water. Stir the ganache mixture until melted.

  5. 5.

    Once it has melted, remove the bowl from the saucepan, add the cayenne, and stir the ganache until smooth. The ganache can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks and reheated when needed

  6. 6.

    To make the caramel: In a small bowl, dissolve the baking soda with 1 tablespoon of water and set aside.

  7. 7.

    In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat combine the goat’s milk, sugar, and vanilla. Stir regularly until the milk comes to a simmer and the sugar has dissolved.

  8. 8.

    Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the baking soda and water mixture carefully, continuing to stir to keep the mixture from bubbling over. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook the caramel, stirring regularly, until the mixture turns pale golden, about 20 minutes.

  9. 9.

    To assemble the choco-nachos: Dip each tortilla chip in melted ganache halfway. Repeat this step for all 16 chips, placing them on a wire cooling rack to allow the ganache to set.

  10. 10.

    Once the ganache has set, drizzle the cajeta over each chip.