Hot chocolate is so underrated. In a world where Pumpkin Spies Lattes reign supreme, many quintessential autumn drinks go unnoticed. What about the cider, the toddy, the chai? What about the hot chocolate?
Personally, Pumpkin Spiced Lattes fall last on my list of go-to fall drinks.
Hot chocolate is the ultimate in comfort and indulgence. Those powdered packs you buy at the grocery make hot chocolate boil-and-go and oh-so easy, but have you tried making your own hot chocolate? With real ingredients and real chocolate? You’ll never go back to powdered again.
Taking the time to heat the milk and melt the chocolate over the stove-top adds to the anticipation. Smelling the chocolate as you slowly stir will really test your patience, but the wait is so worth it.
This cayanne-spiced, Mexican-inspired version uses horchata as its base. If you’re new to horchata, it is a dairy-free alternative to milk, made from almonds and rice and spiced with cinnamon and cloves. It’s wonderful in the summer served cold over ice, and it’s equally wonderful in the winter in lieu of milk in your fall drinks.
For a better breakdown on horchata, see this post.
Making the horchata takes a bit of forethought, as the ingredients need to sit in the fridge overnight to soften. But, if you make a big batch on Sunday, you’ll have horchata to enjoy all throughout the week.
It tastes like a milky, nutty, liquid rice pudding. The taste is hard to explain, but it’s divine.
Note: If you don’t like the taste of plain horchata, you won’t like it in your hot chocolate. The chocolate doesn’t mask the horchata, it kind of amplifies it. This hot chocolate has a complex, slightly nutty depth of flavour with creamy, rich dark chocolate and a slight kick of chili pepper.
It differs from regular hot chocolate, but it’s such a delicious treat!
Rainy weekend ahead? Check.
Fuzzy slippers? Check.
Flannel pj’s? Check.
Oodles of blankets? Check.
Cozy Horchata Hot Chocolate? Check!
|Horchata Mexican Hot Chocolate|| || |
- 1 cup uncooked, long-grain rice
- ¾ cup almonds, blanched and lightly toasted
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 4 whole cloves
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3½ cups water
- Coconut milk, to taste
- Hot Chocolate:
- 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 1½ cups horchata, plus more to reach desired consistency
- 4 oz dark chocolate, finely chopped
- ¼ tsp chili powder
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- Coconut whipped cream**, for topping
- Chocolate shavings, for topping
- Cinnamon sticks, to serve
- To make the horchata: Rinse rice under cold water. Transfer to a large bowl and add almonds, cinnamon sticks, cloves, vanilla, and water. Cover and let soak in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, transfer the rice mixture to a blender and pulse two or three times to break up the rice. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve*, pushing out as much of the liquid as you can. Discard the "pulp" and store horchata in the fridge until ready to use. Stir before use, as it will separate slightly.
- In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring ½ a cup of water to a simmer. Whisk in cocoa powder until smooth, then add horchata and return to a simmer. Add chocolate pieces, chili powder, and ground cinnamon and stir until chocolate has completely melted. If mixture is too thick, add more horchata to thin to desired consistency.
- Serve in mugs topped with coconut whipped cream, chocolate shavings, and cinnamon sticks.
**Sub for regular whipped cream, if preferred. If making your own coconut whipped cream, use this recipe from TheKitchn! http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-whipped-cream-from-152490