I'm sure you can infer from the name of this blog that I'm pretty partial to one type of hot beverage, but even I can branch out as the season requires. Just not for coffee. Never coffee. Hot chocolate, on the other hand, I do occasionally want, especially when the temperature outside is dropping* and carols start playing on every radio station. Usually my hot chocolate consumption is limited to the rare soy hot chocolate with whipped cream from Starbucks (don't ask me why, that's how I like it), but sometimes, usually just when the weather is starting to warm up again, I remember the discs of Guatemalan chocolate I have stashed way in the back of my kitchen cabinets, and my hot chocolate game gets fancy.
*It's 50 degrees in SF these days, practically arctic.
I mean, it's not shocking that Guatemala would know how to make great chocolate, what with the Mayans being the first people to actually eat it, and they actually produce bars or discs meant to be used for drinking, so it's incredibly easy to take your hot chocolate in a more exotic direction than stale powder and freeze-dried marshmallows. I went to Guatemala for Christmas a few years ago and picked up my chocolate in Antigua, long enough ago that I sometimes worry I shouldn't still be using it, but it hasn't killed me (yet). Luckily, you can buy fresher stuff in most well-stocked grocery stores (usually found in the Mexican variety). Online, Amazon actually sells the exact variety I bought, so I don't feel special at all.
Ironically, I didn't drink any hot chocolate when I was in Guatemala, probably since it was about 100 degrees outside, and I was more interested in trying this Delaware Punch I kept seeing.** But I have made it a few times since then and, considering I only need three ingredients, I'm not sure why I haven't made it more often. In any case, I will definitely be correcting that mistake this winter.
**A soda that is sold sin gas (ie flat) and tastes exactly like what you would expect if kids kept demanding to drink Dimetapp and soda companies said, "sure".
Guatemalan Hot Chocolate Recipe
Makes 1 serving
1-2 tablets (1-2 oz guatemalan pressed cocoa, use the higher amount for a really decadent treat)
1 cup whole milk
1 cinnamon stick
Roughly chop chocolate.
In a saucepan, combine chocolate, milk, cinnamon and salt and gently heat and stir until milk is steaming gently and chocolate is completely dissolved.
Remove cinnamon stick and using a whisk, immersion blender, or regular blender, blend the mixture until frothy.
Serve immediately while still hot.