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T
he Mayans were the first to create a beverage from cacoa beans, but it is from the Aztecs that we get the word chocolate. They called their spicy foamy drink
xocolatl because they associated its properties with Xochiquetzal, the Aztec goddess of fertility.

INGREDIENTS
Makes 2 servings.

2 cups whole milk
1 cinnamon stick (or ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder)
½ of a vanilla bean, split open (or 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract)
* optional: 1/2 chile pepper split open with seeds removed (poblano or Hatch)
3 ounces semisweet chocolate, broken into pieces
  Note: chocolate with a high wax content is not suited to this recipe
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Freshly grated cinnamon, or cinnamon powder, for garnish
*for those that like things a little spicy, steeping an opened chile pepper gives a slight

  heat to the taste... try it... you'll like it!
Refrigerate a large stainless steel mixing bowl for mixing the cream. Use the mixer bowl if you are planning to use a standing mixer.
Combine milk, cinnamon stick, and vanilla bean in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In the meantime, make the whipped cream by hand or mixer. Combine heavy whipping cream and sugar in the refrigerated bowl. Whip cream until soft peaks form. Taste and adjust for desired sweetness. Refrigerate whipped cream until ready to use.

Image courtesy of Julie Armstrong Holetz.

Add ½ cup semi sweet chocolate to steeped milk and stir until melted. This is best accomplished using a molinillo, a wooden kitchen tool designed to incorporate chocolate into hot liquid - but a small whisk will also work well. Strain heated mixture and serve immediately with dollops of whipped cream. Top whipped cream with freshly grated cinnamon, or a dusting of cinnamon powder.



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COMMENTS (13):

I've always wondered how mexican hot chocolate is made, and now I know. I will try it soon and then report back. And the mug is adorable!
- Heather W, 2010-03-19 08:33:19


Jason is a HUGE fan of Mexican hot chocolate… will try this recipe out for him. Thanks for sharing!
- Shannon M, 2010-03-08 01:37:06


Inspiration is a funny thing, this recipe had the old wheels a-turnin'. It kinda went like this: Mexican hot chocolate - must read that recipe. A hot pepper!?! - what an interesting idea. I love a little heat, never woulda thought of that. Gotta try it. Great photo - love the dia de los muertos skull in the background -perfect, spicy, clever. What a cool mug. Cableknit. Love it. (reading other comments) I'm not the only person who likes that mug. I'm off to roll some clay on a cableknit sweater. I will try the recipe. When I do, I plan to drink it out of a cableknit mug. Thanks for recipe and thanks for the inspiration!
- Tracy L, 2010-03-04 09:15:46


Oh my goodness that sounds so good! I always wondered how that was made and now I know. TY for sharing your recipe.
- De'Anna G, 2010-03-03 12:15:06


This looks absolutely sinful!!!
- , 2010-03-01 03:30:39


I've been buying the new Mexican chocolate mix at Walrus Mart for the quick fix when the true, lovely, soul-satisfying item falls outside my time allotment. It is sort of like drinking Oregon Chai instead of Indian chai; no where near as good but a pleasant reminder of the real thing. Also, as to the molinillo, Walrus Mart also carries a Paula Deen salad dressing mixer for about $15 that does it a lot quicker. Not authentic, but arthritis takes the fun out of mixing with a molinillo. Thanks for the great recipe. It is 'to die for!'
- Penny S, 2010-03-01 03:17:32


Hey, I have that mug, too! :-)
- Lisa D, 2010-02-14 06:00:12


Yum! Hot cocoa with a kick is my favorite, and the mug is too perfect!
- Camille S, 2010-02-12 04:20:57


This looks soo good. I'm sure with 7 people in our household we'll be experimenting with this recipe a LOT! :)
- Chelsea N, 2010-02-09 01:24:02


OMG this looks good. Yum. Watching "Chocolat" lead me to first try hot chocolate with chili powder. It sure is nice.
- Karen C, 2010-02-06 09:59:48


LOVE the picture! ADORE the "cable knit" mug!!!
- nancy a, 2010-01-06 04:00:50


oh my. FANTASTIC looking. And I absolutely LOVE the look of the magazine! Beautiful, smart, witty, true.
- Kate P, 2009-11-30 01:23:43


Definitely try the chili pepper, it adds a little zing!
- Julie H, 2009-10-17 06:40:54



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