Saturday, October 24

Mexican Hot Chocolate

I unveiled this new (to me) drink at today's book club, and it was a huge hit. We met at my house, and since it's October and our book was originally written in Spanish, I decided to go with a Dia de los Muertos (day of the dead) theme. It's a Central American/Mexican tradition that, unlike Halloween, isn't all about the creepy and the gouls and the ghosts. It's about celebrating the lives of your loved ones who have passed away.

There are several traditional foods that are served on Dia del los Muertos, and I'll be posting the ones I made in the next few days. The first one I'm posting is because of popular demand. Seriously, everyone who was here today wanted the recipe, so ... Sonia, Melanie, Elli, Lisa, and Esther, this is for y'all!!

Mexican Hot Chocolate

2 c boiling water
1 chile pepper, stem and seeds removed (or 1 t cayenne pepper)
4 c milk
1 c cream*
1 vanilla bean, split**
1-2 cinnamon sticks, halved
8 oz bittersweet chocolate***
2 T sugar
whipped cream****

In a small saucepan, add chile or pepper to water and reduce to a quick simmer. Reduce to 1 cup of liquid and strain and discard the solids, reserving the liquid.

Over low heat in a larger saucepan, combine the milk and cream, vanilla bean, and cinnamon sticks, stirring frequently for 20 minutes. DO NOT BOIL!! Add the chocolate and cinnamon, stirring with a whisk until the chocolate has completely melted. Remove the cinnamon and vanilla and turn off the heat. Add the chile-infused water little by little, according to taste.

Serve immediately (this drink separates and settles very quickly) with whipped cream on top. Enjoy!

*I use 5 cups of 2% milk. I mean, seriously, it's already a pretty rich drink without the cream.
**If you cheat like me and use a high-quality liquid vanilla (mine comes in a wine bottle-sized bottle from Mexico), don't add it until you stir in the chile water. Vanilla becomes bitter if you leave it in the heat for too long.
***I found a dark chocolate that was in between semi-sweet and bitter sweet. I think it had 64% cocoa? Anyway, it tasted great, and I didn't have to add any of the sugar. And let's talk chocolate for a minute. If you buy a cheapo chocolate, your drink will taste like it has a cheapo chocolate in it. For a recipe like this, splurge, and buy the good stuff. You'll thank me, I promise.
****Don't make me come over there and slap you because you decided to use nasty-ass faux horrid whipped cream from a can, or even worse, Cool Whip. I will come after you and show you the error of your ways. You don't want that. Make the real stuff.



SaRaH said...

Cool Whip is my favorite....I'm not gonna lie. Please continue loving me....

Brea in Texas said...

You should have lied. I mean, I know it's a sin and all, blah blah blah, but COOL WHIP??? Bestest friend, this has the potential to change everything. I thought I knew you all these years. I feel so betrayed!!

jesnicole said...

You're speaking my language. I am IN LOVE with dark chocolate bars made with chili peppers. :) I must try this recipe.

SaRaH said...

Hi. I check your blog seventy nine times a day. I should boycott you because you have a ridiculous HUGE picture of me on your blog and don't even have the decency to update it, but I love you too much. Ok, that's all. If you'd like me to be a surrogate and write your blogs for you, just say the word. I know that with three kids, another on the way, a son who is lucky to be alive most days, a husband with insane hours, raccoons that eat your chickens and neighbors who play strange music you have tons of free time on your hands.....but I'm just sayin :) Ok, I'm done, and in case you forgot, I love you. A WHOLE FREAKIN' LOT!