The first taste of Spanish style hot chocolate is a marvel. It has an intense flavor and aroma and is so thick you can feel your spoon dragging through it. Does this sound like something you or your Valentine would enjoy? You don’t need to travel overseas to enjoy a cup. Here’s how to make it at home.
To replicate the flavor of Spanish style hot chocolate at home you’ll need quality dark chocolate. Purchase the best you can find. You can even use chips to eliminate having to grate or chop the chocolate. The key is to purchase dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate and avoid the stuff made with soy lecithin.
Cornstarch adds body and gloss to the drink but it’s not strictly necessary to enjoy a nice cup. In fact, Rick insists that it’s better to add more chocolate instead. The amount called for in the recipe doesn’t make the chocolate too thick in my opinion but it does make it really smooth. If you’d rather not use a thickening agent reduce the amount of milk by a third and add more after the chocolate is melted to get the consistency you like.
Spanish style hot chocolate is extremely rich and typically served in a small four to six ounce portion, about the size of a traditional tea cup. I’ve also seen it served in bowls. All the better for dipping.
The traditional combination is chocolate and churros. When you buy them fresh from the churrería they’re awesome. It’s amazing to watch the dough being dropped into huge vats of oil to be fried. Churros aren’t so nice after they’ve cooled down so when serving hot chocolate at home we typically serve it with pastry like the palmiers shown in the photos. Cookies are also delicious, especially the thin buttery types.
- 2 cups milk (almond milk is good too)
- 1 tablespoon sugar (adjust to taste)
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch or arrowroot
- 4 ounces grated or chopped chocolate (I estimate based on the size of the package and it usually falls somewhere between a half and ¾ cup in volume...you can always add more milk or chocolate to adjust the strength)
- Mix the cornstarch with a little milk to make a slurry and set aside.
- Heat the remaining milk and sugar in a small sauce pan until bubbles form around the sides.
- Add the chocolate and stir while it melts. Avoid boiling the milk.
- Stir in the slurry and continue to stir while the chocolate thickens and gets a little glossy.
- Serve immediately.
It’s easy to double or even triple the recipe if you’d like to serve to a crowd (or have another helping). I find the chocolate takes on a pudding like texture after it’s been sitting for a while. Give it a stir and add a little more milk while reheating to restore the consistency.
If you’re feeling adventurous, there are some really good flavored chocolates to try. You could also add a pinch of chili powder or cinnamon to your chocolate for a Mexican flair in your Spanish style hot chocolate.