As my previous posts have indicated I’m a terrible excuse for a baker. Edible one time, not so much the next. And for this reason I will not be trying to create Pan de Muerto or “Bread of the Dead” for Dia de los Muertos. Instead I’ll give Mexican Hot Chocolate a go.
A Little History on Mexican Chocolate
The drink, called called xocolatl, was associated with the goddess of fertility and used as scared offerings. Xocolatl was a bitter, spicy and frothy drink that was considered a luxury since the cocoa beans would not grow in dry Mexican highlands and had to be imported.
Often seasoned with vanilla, chile pepper and achiote and xocolatl was also served cold.
Molcajete y Tejolote and Molinillo – Essential Mexican Kitchen Utensils
Made from basalt the molcajete y tejolote is a type of mortar and pestle used to grind down many staples such as corn and spices. For the xocolatl, panocha or panela, which is pure cane sugar in solid form, would be ground down to a fine powder. The cocoa beans would be then grounded down to a paste then mixed with water, cornmeal and chile peppers.
Then the drink was poured back and forth from cup to pot until a rich foam was developed. It was until the 1700s that the molinillo was created by the Spanish colonists to help speed up the process. The molinillo is used by rubbing the palms together with the handle of the molnillo in the center to help make the chocolate frothy.
A Not-So Authentic Recipe for Mexican Hot Chocolate
Buy some Mexican chocolate like Ibarra or Nestle-Abuelita and follow the directions on the box. If you’ve got ’em, take out your molcajete y tejolote and molinillo to grind down the chocolate and make the drink frothy.
I’ve added soy milk, vanilla, chile pepper and stick of cannel or cinnamon.
For an authentic recipe for Mexican Hot Chocolate, check out Lynn Smythe’s recipe.