Christmas in July: Mexican Hot Chocolate Recipe | Author Jan Moran
Owned & Operated by Sunny Palms Press, LLC.
Owned & Operated by Sunny Palms Press, LLC.
Owned & Operated by Sunny Palms Press, LLC.
Owned & Operated by Sunny Palms Press, LLC.

Christmas in July: Mexican Hot Chocolate Recipe

My most requested recipe is the Sea Breeze Cooler that was featured in Seabreeze Inn, and it has been the official refresher and welcome libation of the inn. However, my Mexican Hot Chocolate recipe is in close second place, especially as the temperature drops.

That said, in many countries and cultures, hot cocoa is often enjoyed at breakfast in place of coffee or tea. This recipe, with its slightly spicy flavor and rich, dark chocolate, is one of my favorites. Below you'll find recipes for the gourmet variety and the traditional edition. Be sure to bookmark this recipe or add it to your favorites…and it pairs well with my Seabreeze Christmas or Coral Holiday books.

Mexican Hot Chocolate Recipe

Mexican Hot Chocolate Recipe

One of my favorite holiday treats is hot chocolate. In Seabreeze Christmas, Ivy and Shelly prepare their mother’s traditional hot chocolate. Sweet cinnamon and the subtle spice of chili powder set this recipe apart from others.

Many authentic recipes call for rustic Mexican chocolate, or chocolate de mesa, from brands such as Abuelita or Ibarra. These brands of chocolate also contain sugar and cinnamon. If you prefer smooth, dark chocolate, then you may substitute 70% dark chocolate, such as Lindt or another brand. You’ll find plenty of artisan chocolates with different flavor profiles to experiment with, too. If you’re using bittersweet chocolate, you might wish to use a little more sugar to taste (or not).

As to the addition of chili powder, a pinch of ancho chili powder adds flavor with only a hint of heat. Cayenne is much hotter on the heat scale, so if that’s what you have in your cupboard, use it more sparingly than ancho. Start light—you can always more to taste. Guests might prefer to flavor their own hot chocolate to their taste.

Another key to my Mexican hot chocolate recipe is a frothy foam. Traditionally, a handcrafted wooden molinillo is spun to achieve a bubbly froth. You may also use a whisk, immersion blender, or handheld blender to create the foam.

While these recipes make four cups, they are easy to divide for one or two people. While these traditional recipes call for whole milk and cream, you can also use low-fat milk, though the texture might not be quite as creamy.

Don’t feel like cooking? Look for spiced hot chocolate mixes, such as Spicy Maya Drinking Chocolate from Chuao Chocolatier. Or, start with an instant hot chocolate packet, add a pinch of chili powder, substitute hot milk for water, and serve with a cinnamon stick. You’ll have a sweet hot chocolate treat in no time.

Serve this soothing, rich dessert-in-a-cup by itself, or with a slice of your favorite gingerbread.

Simple Traditional Mexican Hot Chocolate Recipe

Makes 4 cups

  • 4 cups of whole milk
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 1/2 round tablets of Mexican chocolate, also known as rustic chocolate de mesa (such as Abuelita or Ibarra brand, or others)

Optional:

  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp chili powder (ancho, cayenne, or guajillo chili powder to taste)

Break up chocolate in a saucepan and add milk. Add chili powder if desired. Heat on medium, stirring occasionally. When chocolate is melted and milk begins to steam, whisk with a wire whisk or a molinillo for 3-4 minutes or until a frothy consistency is achieved. Do not boil.

Serve with a cinnamon stick in a mug, and enjoy!

Gourmet Mexican Hot Chocolate Recipe

Courtesy of Ivy Bay’s mother, Carlotta Reina Bay

Make 4 cups

  • 8 oz. of dark chocolate, such as 70% Lindt or other
  • 2 cups of whole milk
  • 2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar (Piloncillo is traditional, or Turbinado)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4-inch Ceylon cinnamon sticks

Optional:

  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp chili powder (ancho, cayenne, or guajillo chili powder to taste)
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • 1 cup whipped cream (recipe below)

In a medium saucepan, combine milk, sugar, and vanilla. Heat over medium until mixture steams, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.

While the mixture heats, cut or break up the chocolate into small pieces so it melts evenly. Once the milk is steaming, add the chocolate and whisk until it’s melted and incorporated.

Heat over medium, stirring occasionally. Watch closely and do not boil. When chocolate is melted and milk begins to steam, whisk with a wire whisk or a molinillo for 3-4 minutes or until a frothy consistency is achieved.

Serve with a cinnamon stick in a mug. If desired, garnish with whipped cream and a dash of nutmeg on top. Enjoy!

Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Combine ingredients in a large bowl and whip until stiff peaks form. Hint: Electric mixers or blenders accomplish this task in less time. Do not overbeat, or mixture will become lumpy.

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Jan’s books are also available to purchase in Deutsch, Dutch, Italiano, Lithuanian, Polish, and Russian. More languages coming soon!

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