Chocolat!

comments (68) February 14th, 2011

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cookinwithherbs susan belsinger, contributor
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Ingredients to make the ancient xocoatl--a blend of cacao, vanilla bean, chiles and spices result in a delicious beverage purported to have aphrodisiac properties. Click on other pix to enlarge and read captions. 
To make this ancient spiced drink, cocoa and bittesweet chocolate are essential, garden-grown chiles add heat, and mace adds a spice, while the vanilla bean adds an exotic aroma.
To make this rich and chocolatey, I use both cocoa and bittersweet chocolate. Whisk in the cocoa with the other spices into the warm milk; stir the chopped chocolate in at the end of cooking and whisk while it melts.
Using a piece of vanilla bean adds exotic aroma and flavor; if you dont have a vanilla bean, you can add pure vanilla extract in place of the vanilla bean--at the very end of cooking.
Homegrown chiles are essential to this beverage. Grind them in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. Ive tried all differetn ones from ancho and pasillas to cayenne or even habaneros. Add the heat slowly--once there--it cant be removed. I probably like it hotter than the average gardener. 
Mace is the outer covering of the nutmeg. I saw these trees in Jamaica and was fascinated by the fruit which contains the seed (nutmeg) and it is covered with a scarlet-red membrane which is the mace. They are dried and called mace blades--most often it is sold ground--one of my favorite spices, hands down! 
I keep a jar of vanilla bean sugar on hand to use in desserts, beverages and whipped cream. Just add a slivered vanilla bean to a jar of sugar and it will be ready to use in a week or so. As you use the sugar, add more plain sugar to replace waht you use. Sweeten the chocolat to taste. 
Heat the milk gently and add the cocoa powder, ground chile, vanilla bean and mace blades (or ground mace). You could use nutmeg or cinnamon in place of the mace.
Whisk the ingredients into the warm milk and cook over low heat. Add the chopped chocolate just before serving, whisking well as it melts. 
Chocolat is delicious served as is, with whipped cream, or even a shot of dark rum! Sometimes I make a quart and keep it in the fridge. Every now and then, I like a shotglass of it cold as an afternoon pick-me-up! Cheers!
Ingredients to make the ancient xocoatl--a blend of cacao, vanilla bean, chiles and spices result in a delicious beverage purported to have aphrodisiac properties. Click on other pix to enlarge and read captions. Click To Enlarge

Ingredients to make the ancient xocoatl--a blend of cacao, vanilla bean, chiles and spices result in a delicious beverage purported to have aphrodisiac properties. Click on other pix to enlarge and read captions. 

Photo: Susan Belsinger

Ingredients:
Serves 2

2 cups half-and-half cream or 1 cup whipping cream and 1 cup milk
2 to 3 tablespoons sugar
2 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1-1/2-inch piece vanilla bean or 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 mace blade or 1 to 2 large pinches ground mace
1/4 to 1 teaspoon pasilla or ancho chile powder, or chiles of choice

Rich, dark, and smooth this hot chocolate is subtly uplifted with a hint of vanilla and the spice of ground chile. (Do not use chili powder—the mix of spices with cumin and oregano. Use pure ground red chile pepper like the rich pasilla, chile negro, or ancho.)  The word chocolate comes from the Aztec and Mayan “xocoatl” which translates as bitter drink. These Indians who believed it gave them power and energy mixed it with chiles, vanilla and spices. Cacao, vanilla bean, mace and chiles are all considered to be aphrodisiacs so make this luscious beverage for your valentine!

In the cafés in Europe, hot chocolate is usually prepared with melted chocolate rather than cocoa, and served with a dollop of whipped cream on top.  Here, experience the best of both worlds.  Try just 1/4 teaspoon of chile and then taste—and add more if desired—I like it with about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon (depending on the heat of the chiles) so it warms the tongue.

You can use all whole milk and no cream—it just isn’t as rich—almond milk and soy milk also can be substituted for the milk and/or cream. Honey or maple syrup can be substituted for sugar if desired.

In a heavy-bottomed non-reactive saucepan, combine the cream, sugar, cocoa powder, ground chile powder and vanilla bean and mace blade if using them. Place over medium heat and stir with a whisk. Keep stirring with a whisk until the sugar is dissolved; do not allow the hot chocolate to boil. 

Turn the heat to low and whisk so there is some froth on top.  If you are using vanilla extract or ground mace rather than the whole spice, stir it in along with the chopped chocolate and whisk until the chocolate melts; let sit a minute or two.  Whisk, taste for chile seasoning; adjust to taste.  Serve hot with whipped cream if desired. 

The chocolate can be cooled and refrigerated and reheated the next day.


posted in: chiles, beverage, chocolate, hot chocolate

Comments (68)

ericlimberlet writes: Suberb
Posted: 12:18 am on November 24th
ElizabethKirk writes: Yummy chocolate
Posted: 6:10 am on November 4th
FaithSkinner writes: great
Posted: 12:50 am on November 4th
coreybaldwin7 writes: Incredible work
Posted: 4:08 am on October 29th
georgeshort7 writes: Great effort
Posted: 2:18 am on October 28th
maxwilson writes: Delicious
Posted: 5:47 am on October 26th
Teresarusso writes: just amazing
Posted: 12:10 pm on October 24th
StephenGossman writes: Really yummy...
Posted: 12:10 am on October 24th
JadeGannon writes: yummy :)
Posted: 2:29 am on October 22nd
DominicCharlton12 writes: I love chocolate
Posted: 1:30 am on October 10th
JohnOneal writes: I love chocolate ..
Posted: 5:50 am on October 8th
PetraJurikova writes: creative.
Posted: 6:19 am on October 5th
ChloeSwayne writes: it is delicious.
Posted: 2:35 am on October 3rd
Dallinlarsen555 writes: love it
Posted: 3:00 am on September 30th
ShawnTrail writes: It is delicious.i want to try ....
Posted: 1:04 am on September 29th
Dallinlarsen222 writes: good job
Posted: 3:05 am on September 27th
Dallinlarsen4 writes: awesome
Posted: 1:29 am on September 17th
Dallin_larsen1 writes: nice work
Posted: 3:18 am on September 16th
KimSpellman writes: Great job...
Posted: 3:28 am on September 15th
Johnychamp writes: Mind blowing
Posted: 5:02 am on September 14th
DallinLarsen writes: classic
Posted: 2:12 am on September 13th
Patriciagilder writes: Thanks for share it
Posted: 5:23 am on September 9th
justinreid writes: Excellent
Posted: 11:36 pm on August 23rd
Parkevenew writes: awesome
Posted: 3:12 am on August 20th
javierdiaz writes: i like chocolate flavor and i will try to make it
Posted: 2:43 am on August 11th
DavidApplebaum11 writes: it looks great
Posted: 1:07 am on August 10th
matthewtweedie writes:
Fabulous
Posted: 12:32 am on August 3rd
yasminspencer10 writes: really nice
Posted: 5:04 am on August 2nd
CodyPurser12 writes: i looks yummy...
Posted: 4:54 am on August 1st
JenniferMoore10 writes: wow yummy...
Posted: 1:58 am on July 30th
jameswhite12 writes: great....
Posted: 12:17 am on July 29th
allanclark writes: This is very tasty.
Posted: 1:43 am on July 16th
RobertCormick writes: good job
Posted: 1:00 pm on July 10th
jacobjohn11 writes: wow good work.
Posted: 12:39 pm on July 7th
FelisaRussell writes: keep it up.
Posted: 12:02 pm on July 5th
maxhinesss writes: brilliant work
Posted: 3:09 am on July 5th
davidrayan writes: I will definitely try this one.
Posted: 12:50 am on June 24th
DorisNorris writes: marvelous work
Posted: 4:41 am on June 13th
MacGarnett writes: very good
Posted: 1:48 pm on June 9th
Andrewlang writes: lovely
Posted: 5:14 am on June 2nd
Jamesjacob writes: Wonderful, this is more than I expected.
Posted: 12:51 pm on May 26th
Kavinjose writes: its best one
Posted: 5:56 am on May 23rd
jacobgravers writes: good one
Posted: 1:23 am on May 11th
Brunojohn writes: Awesome Job
Posted: 12:47 pm on May 10th
alexaida writes: creative
Posted: 12:16 pm on May 9th
Davidecristiana writes: i like chilies
Posted: 12:49 am on April 29th
JohnKGlover writes: Awesome information..Thanks for sharing..
Posted: 4:27 am on April 27th
alliancelimo writes: nice post keep it up
Posted: 3:30 am on April 4th
dennysmudge writes: Yummy
Posted: 11:38 am on February 4th
Kerenross writes: Thanks for sharing it....
Posted: 7:26 am on December 22nd
mickysingh writes: too good
Posted: 5:55 am on October 23rd
roypierce writes: I love chocolate I was looking for recipe thanks for sharing.
Posted: 5:45 am on October 23rd
ajayind writes: nice ingredeans
Posted: 2:39 am on October 16th
prophc writes: very nice
Posted: 5:30 am on October 10th
Austin_Ayword writes: yyyyuuummmm yum yummy
Posted: 1:56 am on July 6th
Ashtonjames writes: coool
Posted: 7:10 am on July 2nd
Anna_Bloom writes: nice
Posted: 6:41 am on July 2nd
esteph6 writes: great work
Posted: 5:04 am on July 2nd
johan21 writes: awesome
Posted: 1:22 am on July 2nd
Brettlii writes: good job
Posted: 2:10 am on June 27th
Lissa53 writes: very nice
Posted: 6:06 am on June 25th
Deepak786 writes: great
Posted: 5:40 am on June 23rd
Amymoriya writes: Indians who believed it gave them power and energy mixed it with chiles, vanilla and spices. Cacao, vanilla bean, mace and chiles are all considered to be aphrodisiacs so make this luscious beverage for your valentine
Posted: 3:16 am on May 23rd
Sandyadkin writes: Like it
Posted: 4:41 am on April 13th
RosieKr writes: This is great job
Posted: 1:25 am on April 8th
neylar writes: coooooooooool
Posted: 12:04 am on March 20th
philipmcnabb writes: Beautifully done.....
Posted: 2:25 am on March 16th
johnsonpaul writes: superbbbbb
Posted: 1:03 am on March 11th
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