Piquant Mexican Hot Chocolate

A peppery make-ahead paste for on-demand delicious cocoa!

Photo courtesy of author

When is it not the season for dreamy, creamy hot chocolate? Mexican hot chocolate adds just a hint of chili to this sweet treat, elevating it to whole new level of savoury satisfaction! Make this potent “paste” which you can then add to any milk and make individual cups of hot cocoa on demand.

Chocolate Paste

  • 2 cups milk (as a healthier alternative to dairy, you can try almond, hemp, rice or organic soy)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 8 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped or grated
  • Vanilla bean or ½ tsp vanilla 
  • 1-2 dried chillies (or a dash of cayenne or dried red chili flakes)

To make:

  1. Simmer the cinnamon and chillies in the milk on the stove over low heat for 15 minutes. Let sit for another 10 minutes.
  2. Chop or grate chocolate. 
  3. Remove cinnamon and chillies from milk when time is up. Return strained milk to small pot on low heat. 
  4. Add chocolate and stir on low heat until it melts and is well integrated.
  5. Add vanilla at the end. Let cool and store in glass jars.

Keeps well refrigerated up to a week - longer if made without dairy. For camping, keep it in the cooler.

Mexican Hot Chocolate

  1. Use 1-2 tbsp paste to 1 cup of warm milk.
  2. Whisk the hot chocolate mixture until all the chocolate has melted, and the milk is warmed to the appropriate temperature.
  3. Pour the hot chocolate into two coffee mugs and add sugar/sweetener (agave is great) to taste.
  4. Top with a dash of cinnamon or marshmallows.

*Originally published March 3, 2013