After seeing the movie Chocolat, I was really excited to try spicy hot chocolate made with red pepper. It took me a while, but I finally got around to it. I tried one recipe that called for 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. I love spicy, so I thought, why not? It almost knocked me out. Apparently, the authentic “Aztec” hot chocolate is quite spicy, but it wasn’t for me. It took away too much of the sweet, which is what I really wanted. Not to mention, it was an assault on the senses.
I edited the recipe to make a sweet, salty, and spicy hot chocolate. It has just a little kick. It was perfect after walking around the in freezing cold of January in New England the other day.
Not only is it cheaper and more delicious to make your own hot chocolate from scratch- it’s also wicked easy and so much healthier. The bad- this recipe does have refined sugar in it (brown sugar is just regular white sugar mixed with molasses). However, look at the ingredients in a normal packaged hot chocolate mix:
sugar, corn syrup, modified whey, cocoa (processed with alkali), hydrogenated coconut oil, nonfat milk, calcium carbonate, less than 2% of: salt, dipotassium phosphate, mono- and diglyderides, artificial flavor. Contains milk.
Why is that necessary? This is why it’s important to read ingredient labels. On the front of the packet, it claims that it has “as much calcium as a glass of milk!” without addressing the fact that it also contains tons of processed ingredients and chemicals. Also, when products add calcium artificially, your body doesn’t really know what to do with it and it’s much less effective. That’s why using whole milk will get your body the calcium it needs, naturally.
Anyway, enough of my rant about excessive ingredients in processed foods and fake health claims. Here is how to make delicious hot chocolate with a kick!
Fill up a mug with milk (or two, or however many servings you are going to make) and put the milk in a saucepan on the stove. I do this step only so that I know exactly how much fits in a mug so there is no waste, but I get as much delicious hot chocolate as possible!
For each serving, add 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1/4 tsp. salt, and just a small sprinkling of cayenne pepper. Turn on the heat to medium-low and whisk together. It will get less powdery as it heats up. Try to whisk constantly to prevent the milk from scalding, and don’t let it boil.
Voila! Spicy hot chocolate that won’t knock you out in only 5 minutes. Now get cozy and drink up!
Hot Chocolate (with a kick!)
- Place all ingredients into a small saucepan. Whisk together over medium-low heat. Whisk constantly enough that the milk does not scald and do not let it come to a boil. When heated enough, put back into mug and enjoy!