Let me divulge a bit of history before I indulge in my all time favorite hot drink:
Chocolate, the fermented, roasted, and ground beans of the Theobroma cacao, can be traced to the Mokaya and other pre-Olmec people, with evidence of chocolate beverages dating back to 1900 BC. The Aztecs believed that cacao seeds were the gift of Quetzalcoatl, the God of wisdom, and the seeds had so much value they were used as a form of currency. Originally prepared only as a drink, chocolate was served as a bitter, frothy liquid, mixed with spices, wine or corn puree. It was believed to have aphrodisiac powers and to give the drinker strength.
After its arrival in Spain in the sixteenth century, sugar was added to it and it became popular through Europe, first among the ruling classes and then among the common people. In the 20th century, chocolate was considered a staple, essential in the rations of United States soldiers at war.
The word “chocolate” comes from the Classical Nahuatl word xocolātl (meaning “bitter water”), and entered the English language from Spanish.
-quoted from wikipedia-
So now that the chill has officially hit the east coast, I figured I might as well post some of what I find comforting this time of year.
I don’t make it often, only because when I buy Taza chocolate (my favorite! stone ground, very authentic) I usually just eat it before I have a chance to make something with it.
I use the steamer on my cappuccino maker to foam up some almond milk (or whatever milk you choose) to top this off. It adds some frothy yumminess to the richness of this drink. Note, the fattier the milk, the better froth you will achieve.Makes 1 serving.
2 c milk, I use almond or soy
2-3 oz of bittersweet chocolate chopped OR 1 disc of Taza chocolate OR 3 T cocoa powder (unsweetened), I prefer using the bittersweet or Taza rather than the powder
2-3 heaped T coconut palm sugar OR sweetener of your choice, I like the flavor of the coconut sugar
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 t vanilla extract or 1/4 t vanilla bean paste
pinch of sea salt
1/8 t cayenne powder (just a pinch! or add more if you like it spicier)
Note: I sometimes buy the Guajillo Chili Taza chocolate which is wonderfully S P I C Y ! Don’t add any cayenne if you’re using a spicy chocolate.
Heat your milk in a small saucepan over medium low heat. Don’t walk away from it, you don’t want to scald the milk!
Heat just until you begin to see tiny bubbles form around the edge.
Remove from the heat and immediately whisk in all of your ingredients.
Whisk until frothy and smooth.
Top with some steamed milk. If you don’t have a steamer, you can either vigorously whisk warm milk until it froths or put milk into a jar (1/2 full) and shake it for 30 seconds and then heat it for 15-20 seconds in the microwave (don’t put any metal in the microwave). Use whipped cream if you’re in a pinch!