This Mexican hot chocolate recipe is a luxurious treat on a cold day. The hint of spice will warm you and make you forget the cold outside.
The clocks have gone back and the nights are getting colder. The weather has really begun to change. At night you can hear the wind swirling round the house. The mornings bring frost and the promise of snow. What is nicer on a cold night than a cup of hot chocolate? Add a topping of whipped cream or marshmallows for the ultimate indulgence.
This Mexican hot chocolate recipe will change your outlook on hot chocolate forever. It takes a little longer than a pre-made mix but its worth the extra time. The rich creamy, spicy fragrant hot chocolate will make you want nothing else.
Why not serve it on bonfire night or at Christmas for a special treat?
What is Mexican hot chocolate?
The origins of chocolate go back over three thousand years to the time of the Maya. The cocao tree grows in tropical forests on the Gulf of Mexico where the conditions are perfect for it. The plant requires perfect conditions of temperature and shelter to grow. The Maya believed that the cocoa tree was a gift to man from the gods. The cocao pod was kept for special occasions and rituals.
The Mayans made a special drink from the cocao pod. A mix of roasted dried cocao seeds and maize with chilli for flavour made a frothy mixture.
Mexican hot chocolate or champurrado is a hot thick drink made from corn dough and chocolate. The corn dough thickens the mixture and cinnamon adds a spicy flavour.
Mexican hot chocolate and Day of the Dead
Today is the Day of the Dead or Día de los Muertos which is a Mexican tradition to celebrate death and the continuation of life. It is a day when the walls between our world and the spirit world grow thin and ancestors walk among us. The celebrations go on for several days.
Private altars are built to honour the dead. The favourite food and drinks of the departed are put on these along with marigolds. The marigolds are meant to lead the spirits back to the world of the living. Families gather together to remember their loved ones and to tidy their graves. Special foods mark the celebrations and Mexican hot chocolate is one of these drinks.
Day of the dead recipe: Chicken and pumpkin seed fajitas
How to make Mexican hot chocolate
Mexican hot chocolate is really easy to make. First you heat the milk gently in a pan with a cinnamon stick, some vanilla essence, a pinch of nutmeg and a pinch of chilli. Be careful not to let it boil, stir occasionally. The milk will become fragrant after about ten minutes.
Gently add the chocolate and sugar to the pan and stir until it all melts. A good quality dark chocolate works. You can also source Mexican chocolate which is slightly grainy. (Affiliate link) Nestle Abuelita Mexican Chocolate is one example.
To make the chocolate frothy whisk it with a wire whisk. If you want to be authentic you can use a wooden molinillo. This is a rather pretty Mexican wooden whisk would make a great addition to the kitchen. Once it is frothy enough for you pour into a cup and top with whipped cream.
Once you have tried this Mexican hot chocolate recipe you will make it again and again.
Mexican hot chocolate recipe
A delicious spiced hot chocolate that is perfect for a cold day
- 700 ml milk
- ½ tsp chilli powder
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 100 g dark chocolate (70% or above)
- 1 tbsp sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla essence
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- pinch nutmeg
Add the spices and the cinnamon stick to the milk
Warm gently until the milk becomes fragrant, stirring occasionally to prevent it boiling. It will take around ten minutes
Add the sugar and chocolate, whisking until the chocolate melts and the drink is frothy. It takes about five minutes
Remove the cinnamon stick and add to cups
Top with whipped cream or marshmallows
Why not pin the recipe for later?
Have you ever made Mexican hot chocolate? Let me know below.
Other Mexican recipes you may like
Mexican chilli beef
This Mexican chilli beef is the perfect warming main on a cold day.
Get the recipe: Mexican chilli beef