Technically, you can’t call a cup of cocoa “hot chocolate,” because cocoa is made from cocoa powder and hot chocolate from a hunk of chocolate. Fat content figures into it, too. But do we care?
Make this good hot drink with Mexican overtones and see what people call it when they ask for refills.
Mexican Hot Chocolate
Karyl Bannister, Cook & Tell
2 1-ounce squares unsweetened chocolate
3 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Dash of salt
3 cups milk
1 heaping teaspoon grated fresh orange zest
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whipped cream, for garnish
Melt the chocolate with 1 cup water in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently. Meanwhile, combine the sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl. Gradually stir into the melted chocolate. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and stir in the orange zest, almond extract, and vanilla.
Return the pan to low heat and warm gently; do not boil. Using a stick blender or an eggbeater, beat the hot chocolate until frothy. Pour into cups or mugs and garnish with whipped cream.
Karyl Bannister writes and illustrates the newsletter Cook & Tell, published ten times a year.