Mexican Hot Chocolate
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Happy Monday, folks! I hope you had a good weekend. I had a semi rough one… Worked a double shift on Saturday and another double on Sunday. Woof! I could barely walk Sunday night. And, since today is a holiday, I’m working today as well, which is usually my day off. Booooo! But no regrets. Work your ass off while you’re still young, right? :) (Why do I feel like a 90 year old then?)
Yesterday, I got home and saw these really good chocolate bars that I had left over from the Petit Gateau I made for Valentine’s Day. I decided to make us cups of delicious Mexican Hot Chocolate. Warm, cozy, chocolate-y heaven that fills you up with this comforting feeling that washes all the tiredness away.
I love Mexican hot chocolate, waaay more than regular. I mean… Of course I’ll drink and enjoy the occasional good ol’ hot chocolate. But if you ask me: “Do you want regular hot chocolate ooooor MEXICAN hot chocolate?”, I will definitely pick the latter. But that wasn’t always the case…
When I moved to NYC, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I had a 24h Deli at the corner of my street, just steps away from my building.(Which is really convenient when I’m working on a recipe at 11pm and realize I forgot an essential ingredient. Yay, deli! Yay, husband!) So I remember when I went there on a cold winter day and asked for one hot chocolate. They said: “It’s Mexican hot chocolate, is that okay?” and, even though I thought “WTH is a Mexican hot chocolate?”, I said it was okay and proceeded to walk out of the deli sipping my Mexican hot chocolate. ‘HOLD THE (Mexican) HORSES! This is pure love in a cup. This is the most comforting thing I’ve ever sipped. And it came from a Deli beverage machine!’ :-0 :-0 :-0 From that day, I always ask Delis if they have Mexican hot chocolate. Some of them look at me as if I’m crazy… Guess you have to be in a Hispanic neighborhood for that to be a thing.
The sad news is that recently my Deli changed machines and they don’t have my precious cup of Mexican hot chocolate anymore… So I had to start making my own at home! And it is – roll the drums – better! (Thank God! Otherwise I would have to retire as a food blogger for not being able to make a hot chocolate at home taste better than a machine version).
I once read a story about how women in Mexico could only find a husband if they were able to make a really foamy hot chocolate. The legend also says that who judged how good the foam was, was the mother of the groom to be! I don’t know if the story is true… But I love little legends like that. They add so much history to recipes, don’t they?
I don’t really care for an extra foamy hot chocolate (I’m satisfied with the natural foam that’s the result of letting it cook for a few minutes) and neither have I the tool or patience to make it super foamy. You see, the Mexicans have this tool called molinillo that is made of wood, with moving rings, shapes and indentations carved into its different parts. It also has a sturdy bottom to rest on a pot and a soft round handle for an easy rubbing of the hands. So, yes… Mexicans have a tool just to make foam. And I don’t! Yet! (Probably not for a long time since my husband freaks out every time I buy a kitchen gadget/appliances. He says we’ll have to move out of our bedroom to fit my kitchen stuff! Sigh…)
I suppose I could use a whisk to create the same effect, using it by rubbing it between my hands until the hot chocolate gets all foamylicious. But you guys know how lazy I am… If I’m making hot chocolate to relax after a exhausting day, standing by the stove rubbing my hands for hours until I see a little foam is not something I have in my mind. If, by some reason, I really need an extra foamy hot chocolate, I’ll probably just cheat and use my blender! (Bad girl, bad girl! I would never get married in Mexico…)
The thing I love the most about this hot chocolate is the cinnamon. I absolutely adore cinnamon and, if I had to choose only one spice to use for the rest of my life, it would probably be cinnamon. And then there’s the chili powder… which is completely optional. But it’s really good if you want this hot chocolate to warm you up quickly!
If the weather stays how it is here in NY, I might be making this delicious rich and decadent hot chocolate daily. I guess that wouldn’t be too good for my figure… But I’m burning calories when I freeze to death outside, right? (Say yes, please!)
P.S. To make a very traditional Mexican hot chocolate, try to use Mexican chocolate, which has a very distinctive and rich flavor. I usually just use some good quality bittersweet chocolate.
- 2 (3.5oz) bars good quality bittersweet chocolate (I use Lindt)
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp chili powder (optional)
- 1/2 Tbsp light brown sugar (optional)
- pinch of nutmeg
- Whipped cream to serve