One of my favorite memories growing up is from first grade when my mom came into my class and taught everyone how to make Colombian Hot Chocolate. Looking back, I have no clue why this happened – I’m guessing it was some sort of cultural education day or something. Who knows really.
At any rate, until that day I had no idea that the hot chocolate drank in my family was completely different from what my friends had at home. Not only is it different, it’s way better (not that I’m biased or anything haha). Colombian’s melt entire chocolate bars into their hot chocolate, making their version of the drink super dense and luxurious. I usually make this when I’m in the mood for a sweet snack because of how filling it is, especially with some guava paste on toast!
1. Start by adding your milk, cinnamon, and cloves to the chocolatera. Heat the milk on medium high.
2. Once the milk has come to a light simmer add in your bars of chocolate. An easy way to know how much chocolate to add is one bar per each cup of milk.
3. Here is where things get exciting, you’re now going to use your molinillo to beat your ingredients together! To do this place the molinillo between your hands and rub your palms back and forth (like you’re cold). The movement will create a frothing motion and combine your ingredients for a smooth consistency.
4. When you serve your hot chocolate make sure to strain it as you pour – otherwise you might end up with cloves and cinnamon sticks in your drink.
Now, here’s the part where Colombian’s really deviate from regular hot chocolate drinkers. Instead of whipped cream or marshmallows we top our toasty beverage with a slice of cheese. My mom and dad always served ours with muenster, but really any type of mild cheese will do. When I don’t feel like putting the cheese directly into my chocolate I’ll melt it onto toast and dip those into my drink. Sound weird? Yes it is a bit, but trust me the combination of sweet and salty is delicious, decadent, and really hits the spot on a chilly day. Enjoy!