"Perhaps the most impressive of all the cookbook blogs are the three devoted to the 2004 edition of Gourmet magazine's "The Gourmet Cookbook" -- all 5¼ pounds and 1,300-odd recipes of it. Befitting this culinary Everest, all three writers are overachievers in their professional lives."

--Lee Gomes, The Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2008
"I should have told you before how much I've been enjoying reading your thoughts. You seem like such a great cook."

--Ruth Reichl, Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet Magazine, June 8 2008, comment on "Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream".

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Mexican Hot Chocolate and....Contest Winners!!!!

OK, the exciting stuff first! Not that Mexican Hot Chocolate isn't exciting--it certainly IS, especially on a cold blustery day.

But who doesn't like a winner?!? And here we have not one, but two!

The Grand Prize Winner is Fran of Frantastic Food, who will be receiving a copy of the new Gourmet Today, and the first runner up is Jessica of The Joy of The Joy of Cooking, who will be receiving the mini-Gourmet Today that I got way back in the wintertime!

Congratulations, you two! If you send me your mailing addresses, I'll write dirty limericks in them and pop them in the mail post-haste.


One of the most exciting things about Mexican Hot Chocolate (aside from drinking it) was the excuse to go out and buy an exotic form of chocolate.

I'd been hearing about Mexican chocolate for years, usually in the types of venues that also say things like "you can use regular oregano instead of Mexican oregano, but it won't be the same". So yes, this recipe suggests that you find some Mexican chocolate like Ibarra...and since I happen to have the spiffy food store Lula's Pantry right down the street from me, I trotted down there and bought some.

Of course I could hardly wait to open up this mysterious chocolate--with hints of cinnamon, it says!--and try it.

This is not your ordinary chocolate! For one thing, it comes in round tablets, and for another thing, it's completely mixed up with granulated sugar! See that whiteness on the edge of the break? That's cut sugar.

So here's the thing about all this sugar mixed in with the chocolate--it makes for kind of a chalky eating experience if you're just nom-ing it right out of the wrapper. BUT--all of that sugar, evenly spaced throughout all of that chocolate goodness makes for brilliant MELTING capabilities--super fast! Swiss Miss, who needs you when we've got Ibarra for our hot chocolate needs???

Here's the rundown for making Mexican Hot Chocolate, and I'm doing this from memory because it's not online and also my neighbor Don borrowed Gourmet Today to make an Indian dinner for our book group last week (OH MY LORD THE LAMB BIRYANI) so bear with me if I screw up.

First thing--whip some heavy cream with a dash of almond extract and a little powdered sugar. Then bring equal parts whole milk and half and half to an almost-boil (I think it was about 4 cups altogether) and add 5 or 6 oz of chopped Ibarra chocolate. Also add a pinch of cayenne. Whisk until smooth, pour in cups, top with whipped cream and chopped macademia nuts.

There, that sounds about right! Where is the sugar, you ask? In the chocolate. I'm telling you, Ibarra should be right next to all those crappy powdered hot chocolate mixes in the beverage aisles.

This drink was creamy and really satisfying, although for my tastes I would have added about twice the cayenne and also some cinnamon since the "hint" of cinnamon in the Ibarra was pretty much nonexistant for me.

And...I still have some of this in my fridge. I've been adding it to my coffee and THAT is another really amazing beverage experience. In fact I'm going to go get some right now.

(blogger's note--I went just now to find an image of a "satisfied woman" and aside from the expected and distracting and not-at-all what I was looking for pictures of naked women (though much could be said about sex and chocolate I guess), I found this one:

Hahaha--it has nothing to with hot chocolate but how could I not put this up?


Georgia said...

The addition of the Mexican hot choc to coffee creates a Mexican mocha!

Georgia said...

Mexican mocha (Mex hot choc + coffee)!!!

Fran said...

Hi Melissa!

I'm not sure if you ever received the mail with my address? I have a feeling it may have been swallowed up by an evil spam filter since I haven't heard from you. I thought I'd send this note via comment since that's usually a flawless way to communicate if not normally for direct messages. ;)