I'm responding to the weird weather by pouring myself a big steaming cup of thick Castillian Hot Chocolate. I think that's the only sane response, after all, if this past week is any indication, it looks like we may be in for a long one.
Drinkable chocolate has been around forever. Just ask the Aztecs and the Mayans. It was even around in the 1980s when Anna Thomas published a recipe for it in her Vegetarian Epicure book two. That's when I discovered it and I've been drinking it ever since.
This is a simple, warming drink, but it's voluptuously thick and rich. It's like drinking pudding before it's set. The secret? Good cocoa powder and...corn starch.
The Spanish drink it for breakfast. They also dunk their churros in it. You can add a teaspoon of espresso powder, cinnamon, or vanilla to it. I like mine simmered with a vanilla bean. The flavor will also vary depending on the cocoa powder you use. You can, of course, also make it with shaved chocolate, or authentic Spanish chocolate called Taza which you can buy here or here if you can't find it in a local market. I used the cocoa powder I had on hand, Ghirardelli.
Castillian Hot Chocolate
(from The Vegetarian Epicure book two) 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1 cup sugar 2 Tbsp + 1 tsp cornstarch 1/2 cup water 4 cups whole milk
In a pan mix the cocoa and sugar together. Dissolve the cornstarch in the water and add it to the pan, stirring together to make a paste. Heat the mixture, and with a whisk pour in the milk. Heat over medium heat, whisking often, until the cocoa comes to a simmer. Continue to heat and stir until the cocoa becomes thick and glossy. The color will deepen as it thickens. Pour into large mugs and enjoy.
Sue/the view from great island