Friday, April 14, 2006

Spiced Hot Chocolate (or Chocolate Milk)

Hot chocolate is another of my favorite cold-weather drinks. But now the weather's getting warmer, it's great chilled as well. While I love the packages of spiced Mexican chocolate and the gorgeous Mexican hot chocolate whisks, called molinillos, I prefer to make the drink from scratch since I think cocoa powder gives a richer flavor than the prepared chocolate disks of the Mexican variety.

1 liter/quart whole milk
4-5 tbsp turbinado sugar
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground allspice*
1/8 tsp cinnamon*
5 tbsp pure, unsweetened cocoa powder
*Instead of these spices, consider ground cloves, cardamom, ginger, vanilla, even a tiny dash of cayenne pepper!

Pour the milk into a medium saucepan and add the sugar before heating over a medium flame. (My belief, not scientific, is that the sugar helps to keep heating milk from forming a skin on the surface as well as on the bottom of the pan. Of course whisking like crazy helps too. I suggest you do both.) Music to whisk chocolate by: "Vamonos" by Rock en espanol greats, Cafe Tacuba
While the milk is heating, add the salt (creates real depth of flavor here) and the ground spices and whisk them in. After about 2 minutes, the milk is warm enough to absorb the cocoa powder without it globbing into lumps. So add the cocoa powder now and whisk even harder than before to incorporate everything. Continue cooking and periodically whisking for another 3 minutes. The milk should just get hot, never boil!, so I find that 5 minutes over medium heat achieves that well. Serve immediately or let cool completely for cold, spiced chocolate milk.

**Frivolous, Martha Stewart-y serving suggestion: Place a long cinnamon stick in each mug as a flavorful and decorative stir.


Blogger Tracie B. said...

aesthetic embellishments are never frivolous my dear:)

8:26 PM  
Blogger hellomelissa said...

i would make this RIGHT NOW if it wasn't 85 outside (and in the house since i don't feel like turning on the a/c)! makes me think of churros con chocolate in spain, although their hot chocolate is really more like hot chocolate pudding. mmmmmmm.....

12:08 AM  
Anonymous rowena said...

First of all, I love the new look of your blog and especially the banner photo! Way to go!!

This molinillo tool that you spoke about is something new to me...learned yet another little tidbit from a fellow foodblogger. :-)

5:29 AM  
Blogger Lotus Reads said...

It was a cold, wet and rainy day yesterday here in Ontario and it seemed like the perfect time for a cup of hot chocolate, so I followed your recipe Susan, and as a result I was very popular with my family all evening! :)))

Thanks so much for sharing! It made for a nice change from the usual hot chocolate that they get out of a tin!

12:44 PM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Hi Tracie, Thanks, sometimes I feel overly, pathetically Martha Stewart-y
Hello Melissa, It's 85F where you live? I'm jealous. Screw the hot chocolate and pull out the margaritas!
Thanks Rowena, I showed Gabriel your front page as a model.
Lotus, Thanks. I'm glad you tried it and it worked.

4:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:23 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

View My Stats