Now that the temps are cooling off, there is nothing more comforting in colder weather that a cup of hot chocolate. There as many versions and recipes for making hot chocolate as there are for making guacamole! They often differ greatly on what type or form of chocolate to use and what the liquid medium is. For authentic "Aztec" chocolate, the base must be water, the mixture not too sweet and it has to contain powdered chile of some sort. This is certainly the way that Motecuhzoma Xocoyotzin (AKA Montezuma) liked it. This recipe however, uses the now more familiar milk & cream base and the chocolate is in the form of powdered cocoa. It comes from a cookbook that my parents brought back from a trip out west as a gift for me called The All-American Cowboy Cookbook put together by Ken Beck & Jim Clark.
Mexicali Hot Chocolate
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Pinch of salt
3 cups milk, divided
1 cup half and half1 tsp. vanilla extract
In a large saucepan, over low heat, combine the cocoa, sugar, cinnamon, salt and 1 cup milk. Mix until smooth. Bring to a light simmer and add the remaining milk, half and half and vanilla. Heat through. Remove from heat and beat until frothy. Serve in mugs. Top with whipped cream, and nutmeg, add a cinnamon stick for stirring.