If you’ve never tried adding chili powder to your chocolate, trust me, this will change your life!
The tradition of adding chili to chocolate is prehistoric. People who know about these things estimate the combination extends as far back as 350 B.C. when the Aztecs and Mayans fermented cacao beans, added chilies, and drank it. I’m not sure when the idea came into fashion in the west, but it’s clear the two were meant to be together.
This recipe for hot chocolate with ancho chili powder is just wonderful. The taste is much more complex than regular hot chocolate, but the chili is very subtle. You can add more for more heat, of course, but please try it like this first to get the full experience of the unique combination in harmony.
I don’t recommend making your own chili powder. It’s not easy to get it right. If you cannot find Ancho Chili Powder in the spice isle of your grocery store, you can substitute New Mexico Chili Powder or California Style Chili Powder. Other chilies would give it a kick, but they are just not the same as this.
Hot Chocolate with Ancho Chili Powder
- 1/2 Cup of Bittersweet Chocolate
- 2 Tablespoons of Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Ancho Chili Powder
- 1 Cinnamon Stick for Chocolate (2 More for Optional Garnish)
- 1 Whole Vanilla Bean
- 2 Tablespoons of Sugar
- 1 Cup Whole Milk
- 1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
- Chocolate Syrup
- Prep Vanilla Bean: Slice it in half length-wise, and scrape out the seeds. Set seeds aside to add to chocolate, and set skin aside as an optional garnish.
- Chop bittersweet chocolate into small chunks that are easy to melt.
- Place bittersweet chocolate, cocoa, chili powder, and sugar into a medium-sized saucepan and melt on low, slowly whisking constantly until bittersweet chocolate is mostly melted.
- Whisk in milk and cream, and blend until fully incorporated.
- Add 1 cinnamon stick, and turn heat up to medium-low until simmering.
- Remove from heat and stir. Cover pot with well-fitting lid, and allow chocolate to set for 30 minutes.
- Add vanilla seeds (do not stir), and return lid tightly, allowing chocolate to set for 15-20 more minutes.
- Remove lid, and return saucepan to low heat, stirring frequently, for 5-10 minutes until hot.
- Pour chocolate into large mugs through a strainer, and top with lots of marshmallows. Garnish with chocolate syrup (warmed) and a cinnamon stick.
Serve hot when it’s very cold outside (with cookies).