Recreating Turtle Empanadas : Empanadas filled with chocolate, caramel and walnuts

I have been wanting to recreate Turtle empanadas ever since I tasted them at a popular Mexican eatery called "On the Border", back in Charlotte. That was over 3 years ago. They had, apparently, discontinued the dessert when we went there again. That made us pretty sad.

It was just last month, for our 10th wedding anniversary, that I finally made up my mind to try it out. It was pretty close tastewise, as far as our memory serves. Mine were just somewhat smaller than the ones at On the Border.

Empanadas plated up to look pretty!
I made all the components before hand, then assembled and baked the empanadas the day of our anniversary. Instead of regular caramel, I made dulche de leche one day. I really wanted to try making it for its unique preparation method. I made chocolate sauce the next day and the dough on the third day. Finally every thing came together to make a beautiful dessert.

Dulche de leche
recipe source :
Dulche de leche in a tin
I really loved the taste. It reminded me a little bit of brown pedha. Quite delicious in itself!

400 gm tin sweetned condensed milk *
  • Remove any plastic lids from the condensed milk tin. Place the tin lying down (not standing up) in a pressure cooker filled with enough water to cover the tin.
  • Pressure cook for about 25 minutes. Let the pressure cooker cool down on its own.
  • Remove the tin from the cooled pressure cooker and leave it to cool down overnight. The dulche de leche in a tin will be ready when the tin is completely cool.
I used Amul Mithai Mate

Chocolate sauce
recipe source :
Chocolate sauce
It is intensly chocolatey, silky smooth and lusciously creamy.

200 ml Cream *
3/4 cup corn syrup substitute *
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup chocolate chips
2 tbsp salted butter
2 tsp vanilla
  • Combine cream, corn syrup substitute, brown sugar and cocoa powder in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a light boil while stirring frequently.
  • Add half of the cocolate chips to the cream mixture. Boil on low flame for about 8 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the rest of the chocolate chips, butter and vanilla.
  • Let it cool. The sauce will thicken as it cools. It thickens quite a bit, when stored in the fridge.

  • I used Amul fresh cream tetrapack
  • I used this recipe to make corn syrup substitute, but I used lemon juice instead of cream of tartar.
  • The sauce can be microwaved to thin it out a bit before using, if required, for example on icecream.

Empanada dough
recipe source :

2 1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
100 gm amul butter
1 egg
1/4 cup cold water
  • Mix flour and salt in the food processor.
  • Add small cubes of cold, hard butter and process till the cubes break up a bit.
  • Add the egg and process briefly to incorporate.
  • Slowly add cold water and process to mix everything together.
  • Take the dough out of the food processor and squish together into a ball.
  • Refrigerate the dough for a couple of hours before rolling out the empanadas.

Turtle Empanada

Turtle Empanada
1/4 portion chocolate sauce from recipe above
about 1/2 tin dulche de leche
1/4 cup toasted walnut, chopped into small pieces
1 portion empanada douch from the recipe above
  • Roll out the cold empanada dough on a floured surface (eg. a big plate). The dough needs to be rolled out thin (about 1/2 cm).
  • Cut out circles from the rolled dough using a glass or a bowl.
  • Place about 1/2 spoonful each of chocolate sauce and dulche de leche in the center, depending on how big the circle is. Sprinkle a few walnut pieces on top. Do not fill a lot in the empanada otherwise it will be difficult to seal.
  • Fold the circles over to make semi circles. Press down the edges to seal the filling.
  • Place the empanadas in the refrigerator for 30 mins or freezer for 15 minutes. Once they are cold again. Seal properly with a fork.
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 200 C for 15 minutes.
  • Roll in cinnamon sugar when still warm.
Notes :

  • Traditionally pecans are used instead of walnuts. It is difficult to find pecans here, so I used walnuts instead.
  • Instead of chocolate sauce, plain chocolate chips can be used. It might work even better since the chocolate sauce thins out when hot.


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