Warm and inviting in the cooler months, Mexican hot chocolate features a spicy, sweet bite that regular cocoa lacks. The use of Mexican Chocolate, which contains a dash of cinnamon and more sugar than chocolate and chili powder, generates the intense flavor. These three delicious recipes offer the basic Mexican hot chocolate recipe along with one that adds extra zest and another that makes it from scratch.
In this traditional version of Mexican hot chocolate the sweet cacao base takes precedence. Make sure to buy authentic Mexican sweet chocolate from a specialty store or order it online. Favorites include La Frontera, Ibarra and Taza. You will need 2 cups of whole milk, 4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch or natural), a pinch of salt and 3 ounces of chopped Mexican chocolate. Heat the milk in a medium saucepan with the cocoa powder and salt. Wisk it continually until it boils. Move it away from the heat and add the chocolate. Mix it until it smoothes out and melts completely. You can also blend it with a hand mixer. If you like cinnamon, add in a stick or two when heating the milk. Serve it warm. This recipe serves two.
Simple Spicy Version
Whip up a cup of this hot chocolate if you like spicy chili combined with warm cinnamon. It uses instant hot chocolate mix, which makes it a great recipe to keep on hand for a chilly night or a rainy day inside when your energy reserves reach critical. Grab a large mug and combine 3 tbsp instant hot chocolate mix, 1 tbsp chocolate syrup, ½ tsp ground cinnamon, 1 pinch chili powder and ¼ cup milk. Boil ¾ cup of water and add to the mug. Stir to combine until smooth and completely melted. If you want to make the traditional version complete with stovetop heating but want the same spicy flavor, add in ¼ pinch of chili powder to each cup of milk that you heat. This recipe serves two.
For the very adventurous or those who like to enjoy the process of creating what they ingest, this recipe requires more time but offers the fullest flavor. You will need 2 cups of reduced fat evaporated milk, ½ cup whole milk, ½ cup chocolate liqueur, 1 tsp vanilla extract, ¼ cup sugar, 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa, 1 and ½ tsp cinnamon powder, ¼ tsp ancho chili powder, 10 cinnamon sticks, 1 dried red chili, 2 and ½ ounces bittersweet chocolate and ¼ cup heavy whipping cream. In a heavy saucepan whisk the milks, liqueur, vanilla, sugar, cocoa, 1 tsp cinnamon and chili powder. Drop in 2 cinnamon sticks and the chili and heat over medium-low until it warms. Add in the chocolate and whisk until melted. Bring it to a high simmer, then reduce the heat and let it gently simmer until it reduces and thickens. Whisk often for ten minutes. Remove from the heat and combine the heavy whipping cream with ½ tsp cinnamon and beat until peaks form. Portion out 1/3 of a cup of the chocolate mixture into mugs and top with whipped cream and a cinnamon stick. This recipe serves eight.