by Alexandra

On Hot Chocolate: “The Aztec adaptation was a bitter, frothy, spicy drink called xocolatl, made much the same way as the Mayan chocolate drinks.” –Wikipedia.org

Typical me: take something perfectly normal and make it highly abnormal by messing around with the flavors. Mission accomplished.

Spicy and sweet, my take on hot chocolate, or rather Xocolatl, is far from ordinary but it’s 100% delicious.

 Hot chocolate is a funny thing. I actually think there is a distinction between hot chocolate and hot cocoa. I’d call the latter more of a mix of sugar, cocoa powder and  milk whereas the former is real chocolate (cocoa butter and all) suspended in water (or milk, whatever). Hot cocoa makes me nauseous and I have no idea why, but I consequently have to avoid it. Hot chocolate, however, is so rich that a smaller portion is only appropriate, which alleviates the nausea but still satisfies.

My typical hot chocolate recipe is a 1:4 dark chocolate to milk (or water) ratio with varying amounts of cocoa powder or other flavors (peppermint, raspberry, etc) added in. But my newest creation, which I have dubbed “Xocolatl” (fully realizing that it indeed is not) is like flavor and convenience in one delicious cup of chocolate splendor.

The secret, my friends, is tea. Yes, any kind will do, but unless you are open to some potentially crazy flavors, I’d stray away from fruity teas (like peach or lemon) and green tea, opting more for maybe a high-quality English Breakfast Tea, Gingerbread Spice Herbal Tea or maybe some berry-flavored Lipton.

You also need a whisk. No, a fork will not work. No, a spoon will not work (although it might come in handy at a later time.) If you think a knife would work, maybe you are a little bit cray-cray and should take a leave of absence from cooking.

Just use a whisk. A metal one. And a small, non-teflon, copper-plated pot.

I used Bigelow Vanilla Caramel Black Tea and Nestle Dark Chocolate Chips.

2/3 cup boiling water, 3 tablespoons chocolate chips, 1 tea bag

Steep tea for 3 minutes, squeeze out as much as possible, add chocolate chips, whisk over low heat until thoroughly incorporated.

Serve hot!