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Made From Scratch - Mexican-style Cocoa-Latte/Con Leche

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Chocolaty, silky, spicy, and satisfying! And, better than the overly-sugary, instant "hot chocolate" powdered drinks from the supermarket beverage aisle.

 

    Every Sunday morning I treat myself to a "made-from-scratch" Mexican-style hot chocolate! Making it from scratch, from simple pantry ingredients, adds to its Hispanic mystique with the added advantage that I can sweeten, spice (or spike) it to my liking.

Mexican-style Hot Cocoa-Latte (serves 1, but can be doubled, etc.)

For each cup of cocoa, you'll need:

A 10 ounce mug warmed with hot water

10 ounces milk of choice, reserving 2 ounces for foamed topping in a heatproof measuring cup (I like Pacific Unsweetened Almond milk)

2 ounces tequila (optional) adjust milk amount down to 8 ounces to compensate

1 square unsweetened, 100% dark baker's chocolate (I like Ghiradelli

Premium Baking Cacao)

1 tsp. powdered cocoa powder

1/16-tsp each of sea salt and powdered cayenne pepper, or scant pinches

One or two shakes of cinnamon

One or two shakes of chili powder

10 drops of stevia or 2 tsp brown sugar

    In a small sauce pan add the milk, then the rest of the ingredients (except stevia), including brown sugar if you're using it (adding the milk first prevents the chocolate square from gluing itself to the bottom of the pan).

    Heat the cocoa mixture on low whisking occasionally to incorporate cocoa powder and rest of ingredients. Raise the heat only if you're keeping an eye on the mixture. If it begins to simmer around the edges, lower heat. You don't want the mixture to boil.

    When the cocoa begins to steam, place the reserved 2 ounces of milk into a microwave and heat on high for 30 seconds (or warm in a wee pan).

    Empty the hot water from the mug. Add 10 drops of stevia sweetener (and 2 ounces of tequila, if using). Whisk the cocoa mixture one last time and pour it into the warm mug. Leave room for the foamed milk.

Whisk the topping milk briskly to foam it by rotating the handle of the whisk rapidly between your palms. Pour and spoon the frothed milk onto the cocoa.

Enjoy!

 

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Two chocolate sources make it chocolaty, rich, and silky.

 

Cooks notes: If you spike your cocoa-latte with tequila you can reduce the amount of milk accordingly or you can reserve the extra cocoa mixture to add to coffee to make it "mocha".

Make it as spicy as you like by increasing the amount of cayenne used.

The use of a small amount of salt helps to meld the flavors of the ingredients. You won't taste it.

Some nutmilks don't foam up. Pacific and Silk brands do, as do most brands of beverage-type coconut milk (not the canned variety). If your brand won't foam up, you can add 1/8 tsp of xanthum gum powder to one cup of milk. Whisk or  blend the xanthum gum in thoroughly. It has a tendency to remain in a clump, otherwise.

During the doldrums of Covid, it helps to plan simple, satisfying, treats for yourself and your loved ones. A cup of steaming hot chocolate is comforting and satisfying...something to be looked forward to and anticipated.

While this "made-from-scratch" Mexican-style chocolate takes a little longer to prepare than its overly-sugary, instant counterparts, it is sooo much better and can be made "no sugar" by using stevia or your preferred sugar-free sweetener.

 


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