Chocolate Caliente Mexicano
When the weather gets chilly, there is no better drink to warm you up than traditional Mexican hot chocolate frothed by hand with a wooden molinillo. It’s sooo… good!
The best chocolate comes from the state of Oaxaca which is what we used for this recipe. The city of Zacatecas produces a very good chocolate de metate, or stone ground chocolate. Chocolate is sold in bars called tablillas (tablets). It is sweetened with sugar and spiced with cinnamon. Mexican chocolate has a slightly grainy rustic texture which isn’t completely smooth in the cup. Don’t consider that a negative. That’s how it’s supposed to be. The texture is an integral part of the drink.
Where to Buy
You can find Mexican chocolate at most supermarkets. The two easiest to find brands are”Abuelita” by Nestlé and Ibarra. If you can’t find it at your local supermarket, you can order artisanal chocolate from Oaxaca through HERNÁN, specialists in premium Mexican food and kitchenware. (BUY)
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How to Use a Molinillo
Molinillos (mo-lee-nee-yos)are the traditional way to froth your hot chocolate. Think of molinillo as a wooden whisk. It’s a beautiful addition to your Mexican kitchen. A regular wire whisk is a good substitute. If you would like to try using a molinillo you can also get them from HERNÁN. (BUY)
To use, place the handle of the molinillo between your palms and roll it back-and-forth quickly. This action aerates the milk which makes it frothy. To get your hot chocolate just right it takes some time and effort.
After working the molinillo for some time the chocolate starts to take on the creamy frothy texture that you want. The more you spin the molinillo the lighter and frothier your drink gets. It’s all up to you.
Serve with a pastry and garnish each cup with a cinnamon stick and top with marshmallows if you like. Mmmm…
Mexican Hot Chocolate
Yield 4 servings
Traditional Mexican hot chocolate, sweetened with sugar, spiced with cinnamon, and frothed by hand with a wooden molinillo. No better drink to warm you up when the weather is chilly.
- 2 bars of Mexican drinking chocolate (BUY)
- 4 1/4 cups (1 liter) of milk or water
- 4 cinnamon sticks for garnish
- Pour your milk of water into a tall narrow pot over very low heat.
- Add 2 bars of chocolate (approximately 6 ounces).
- When the chocolate starts to dissolve gently move it with the molinillo until it fully dissolves, about 20 minutes.
- Once all of the chocolate has fully dissolved, vigorously froth the drink with the molinillo for 10 minutes to develop a frothy creamy texture.
- Your hot chocolate is richer when you prepare it with milk.
- If you choose to prepare it with water the flavor of the chocolate is more pronounced.
- Either method of preparation is authentic.
- Each brand of chocolate is a little bit different. Adjust the quantity to your liking. You may want to add a little or take away a little.
- Do not allow the milk to boil. If the milk gets close to the boiling point remove it from the heat for a couple of minutes and continue to froth. After a minute or two return it to the heat.
Serve and Garnish
- Garnish each mug with a cinnamon stick. Serve with a small pastry or sweet bread. Add marshmallows to each cup if you like.