Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Hot Chocolate for Every Kind of Winter Day, Starting with Mexican Hot Cocoa

Sunday was a snowy, blowy, and downright blustery day on this little Canadian island where I live. It was that kind of wicked winter day where all plans are dropped, you shut yourself indoors, and even that thing that you desperately wanted to buy at the store suddenly can 'wait until tomorrow'. Yes, that's right: it was a hot chocolate kinda day.

In November, someone from Shari's Berries sent me an info-graphic with 14 super simple hot chocolate recipes on it. And with the first snowfall in December, I was stoked to start working my way through every single one. But the busy Christmas season was upon me and suddenly I was making chocolate confections like crazy, with no time to even think about hot cocoa, let alone make some. 

But on Sunday, there was time. So I looked through the recipes on the list, and decided I should start with the most chocolaty of all: the 'Mexican' hot cocoa (fourth on the list). There are no instructions as to how to make it, but my experience with chocolate truffles and ganache have taught me a few things about how to mix liquid and chocolate without causing cocoa butter separation. I know that most people don't know these techniques, or that cocoa butter separation is even a problem, so I will share the full ingredients and 'how-to' instructions below.

I am not quite sure why the creators of this info-graphic felt that 5 ounces of dark chocolate and one cup of milk was the best chocolate-to-milk ratio, but I liked the pure boldness of it. You can find the ingredients on the info-graphic here, but below I've re-written the list of what you need, and also included the full instructions for making the recipe:

Mexican Hot Cocoa Recipe (based on the ingredients provided by Shari's Berries)

You need:
-1 cup milk (I used 1%, you can use skim, homogenized whole milk, or 2%)
-1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
-5 oz dark chocolate
-pinch cayenne

Instructions:

1. Chop the chocolate into 1/2" pieces (if not using chocolate chips) and place in a large mug.

2. Sprinkle the cinnamon and cayenne on top of the chocolate.

3. Place your milk in a small saucepan on the stovetop and warm on medium-high until it just about boils (do not let it fully boil or the milk will curdle).


4. Pour half the milk onto the chocolate in a circular motion, being sure to touch all the top pieces with the hot milk while pouring.  Stir slowly with a spoon until as much of the chocolate melts as possible and looks like smooth truffle. 

5. Reheat the remaining milk and then pour into your mixture, then stir until smooth. 

If there are still remaining chunks of chocolate, you can either microwave the mixture for 5 seconds and stir again, or leave them in the bottom of the mug and simply use a spoon to eat them once you have drank the hot chocolate - it's a lovely bonus at the end!

This hot cocoa recipe is very chocolaty! It should be shared among two or more people (make it fun 'hot chocolate shots') or consume it over two days, otherwise it's like eating nearly one-and-a-half 100 gram chocolate bars! Alternately, you can double the milk for two people, or reduce the chocolate by half and you will still enjoy a very chocolaty spiced drink. The heat from the spices and the hot beverage are perfect for a cold winter day.

I plan to try all of the recipes on Shari's Berries' list this winter, so stay tuned! I will share my results and hot cocoa recipes weekly - maybe even daily, since I am so excited to try these recipes!

4 comments:

  1. Mexican Hot Cocoa is one of my favourites. I remember making some for friends when I first moved to the Island and none of them liked it. I think my friends were expecting something a bit sweeter -- much like the hot chocolate most are accustomed to. Now they like it! :)

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  2. Mexican Hot Cocoa is one of my favourites. I remember making some for friends when I first moved to the Island and none of them liked it. I think my friends were expecting something a bit sweeter -- much like the hot chocolate most are accustomed to. Now they like it! :)

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  3. Mexican Hot Cocoa, I would say - yummy. It reminds me the old days when I share Mexican Hot Cocoa with my mom.

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