As I mentioned in my churros con chocolate post, Miamians love celebrating “chilly” weather with freshly fried churros and thick, hot chocolate.
It’s become a fun tradition here even though, we won’t leave our homes if the weather drops below 60ºF. Ha!
This hot chocolate recipe is not your average milky hot chocolate. It’s rich, thick, velvety, and almost pudding-like.
This chocolate caliente isn’t just a drink, it’s also a dipping sauce for churros (maybe even Cuban buñuelos if you’re feeling adventurous!).
To be honest, it doesn’t even have to be cold outside for you to enjoy this treat.
Let me show you how to make it!
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Whole milk. I highly recommend you use whole milk over any other milk or water for this recipe. Whole milk is super creamy and extra flavorful. The perfect base for this thick hot chocolate.
- High-quality dark chocolate. Personally, I LOVE love love this Chocolate Menier. It’s what my mom would use when she would make chocolate caliente for us as kids. It’s a thick chocolate bar that’s super sweet and very rich. Trust me, you won’t be able to bite into it. If you can’t find this chocolate bar in your area, I recommend high-quality dark chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa. You can always sweeten the hot chocolate with sugar later, if necessary, but don’t skimp on quality here!
- Cornstarch. I know it sounds weird to add cornstarch to your milk but this is the secret to thick, hot chocolate. Cornstarch is a thickener and I promise you won’t be able to taste it. You can use arrowroot powder too.
- Sugar. Not a need but a want if you’d like to sweeten your hot chocolate.
When you’re done with this recipe, make Cuban Cafe Con Leche!
How To Make Spanish Hot Chocolate
- Grate the chocolate. Yep. Go grab your cheese grater because this is how your chocolate will melt evenly into the whole milk. Especially, if you use the Chocolate Menier that I recommended above. They’re blocks of bittersweet dark chocolate so, you WANT to grate this or you’ll be waiting for years for it to melt. My mom would shave the chocolate bar into the milk but I prefer to grate it.
- Add the cornstarch to the warm whole milk. In a saucepan, add the milk and heat over medium-low heat. Whisk in the cornstarch to the warm milk until it has dissolved. It helps to dissolve faster when the milk is warmed up.
- Add the grated chocolate. Add the grated chocolate into the saucepan, while stirring, until the chocolate has completely melted. Add the sugar, if using, and continue stirring until the hot chocolate has thickened about 5 minutes. It will smell so good!
Recipe Tips & Variations
- Make churros! These two things go hand in hand in my world so might as well make yourself a batch of homemade churros for dipping into this thick hot chocolate.
- Spice it up! It’s not authentic however feel free to add cinnamon (or a pinch of cayenne powder) to the milk before adding the chocolate.
- Set up a DIY hot chocolate bar. Again, not traditional, but you can set up a hot chocolate bar with fun toppings for your guests to add to the chocolate caliente! Things like whipped cream, mini marshmallows, or even some Bailey’s Irish Cream for a boozy spin.
That’s all folks! Can’t wait for you to make it!
Spanish Hot Chocolate (Chocolate Caliente)
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 6 ounces bittersweet dark chocolate grated (I use the Chocolat-Menier bar)
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar or more to taste
- Pinch of cinnamon or cayenne powder optional
- In a saucepan, add the milk and heat over medium-low heat. Whisk in the cornstarch to the warm milk until it has dissolved.
- Add the chocolate, while stirring, until the chocolate has completely melted.
- Add the sugar and continue stirring until the hot chocolate has thickened about 5 minutes.
- Serve the hot chocolate with homemade churros. Enjoy!
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