It’s cold outside- even in Texas (finally!). And it’s the start of the holiday season, which means lights are going up around the neighborhood and I’m sitting in a coffee shop wearing a sweater and scarf and writing this post whilst instrumental Christmas music plays in the background.
It’s maximum cozy time.
Which means you need a maximum cozy beverage to enjoy after putting up those lights outside, raking the last of those leaves, when you get home from hitting up all the holiday sales, or after decorating your tree.
The solution? Spicy Mexican Maple and Molasses Hot Chocolate. Yummmmmmm. This will warm you to the core- it’s creamy and decadent, warm, and slightly spicy from the addition of just a teeny tiny bit of cayenne pepper and warming spices. Plus, there’s NO refined sugar- just real, natural maple syrup and blackstrap molasses to sweeten it up!
If you’ve ever seen the movie Chocolat, you likely remember the scene when the main character helps soften a grumpy old woman’s (Judi Dench) temperament with a mugful of creamy hot chocolate with chili powder. Pairing cocoa and chili can be traced way back to the origins of drinking chocolate, during the time of the Aztecs and the Mayans in South America. The original beverage was bitter and spicy with no added sugar. This has evolved into a delicious sweet beverage- traditional Mexican hot chocolate contains warming spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg, in addition to a teeny bit of chili powder.
Also, Chocolat is an excellent movie and you should certainly see it if you haven’t already.
You long-time readers of Bowl of Delicious may think this sounds familiar. Way back when my blog was a wee child, I wrote a post called Hot Chocolate (with a kick). This is the new and improved version, in more ways than one.
First: that photograph on my old post! It’s times like these that I realize how much I truly have grown as a blogger and photographer (and how much I recognize that I still have so much to learn!). Thank goodness I invested in my Canon EOS Rebel and 50mm lens. What a difference a good camera and good lighting makes, in addition to lots and lots of practice.
Second: the sweetener. Originally, I used brown sugar. This time, I stuck with pure maple syrup and a bit of molasses to make a rich, sweet beverage with no refined sugar (molasses and maple syrup both have nutritional benefits to them, unlike refined sugar which is just empty calories). Still a treat, and still decadent, but a bit healthier than the original.
Third: I put whipped cream on this. Partially because it looks pretty, but mostly because we had leftover whipped cream from Thanksgiving and I sure as heck wasn’t going to let it go to waste.
Now go put on your flannel PJs, start a fire, and make this hot chocolate. It’s your recipe for maximum coziness. Enjoy!
Spicy Mexican Maple and Molasses Hot Chocolate
- In the microwave or on the stovetop, heat the milk.
- Add remaining ingredients and stir until dissolved.
- Top with whipped cream and cinnamon, if desired.
- Make a fire, put on Christmas music, and sip :-)