Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Taza Chocolate: How to Make Mexican Hot Chocolate

It's really chilly today, so it's a perfect day to post this recipe for Mexican Hot Chocolate from one of my favorite chocolate companies: Taza Chocolate. I got to meet Alex Whitmore, one of the founders of the company, at the San Francisco Fancy Food Show yesterday, and for me it was like meeting a rock star.  I always have Taza Chocolate in my desk.  Love that aroma when I reach for a pen. Taza Chocolate is a bean to bar company with a stone ground process. They're also serious about sustainable agriculture and fair trade.

Taza Chocolate was founded in 2006 and combines the Meso-American tradition of chocolate with a modern, high-quality product manufactured in a socially responsible way. In 2005, Taza cofounder Alex Whitmore traveled to Oaxaca to steep himself in the history and culture of Mexico. He learned about the pre-Columbian ritual of “xocolātl” in Latin America, and the customs that surrounded the transformation of cacao into a drink. The Oaxacan treatment of chocolate, compelled by the minimal processing and traditional method of stone grinding the beans, influenced him to start a business dedicated to crafting artisan, Mexican-style chocolate in the United States.

Alex Whitmore, Co-Founder, Taza Chocolate
Taza Chocolate produces 100% stone ground, organic chocolate using only the best ingredients while compensating growers fairly for their work. Taza found its initial sources in Chiapas, Mexico; in Talamanca, Costa Rica; and in Nagua, Dominican Republic. Today, Taza produces thousands of chocolate bars each month, which are sold in almost every state. Taza Chocolate has had a positive effect on their community, the industry, and livelihood and welfare of their growers.

This recipe is from the Taza website. As I've mentioned before, there are some wonderful recipes to be found on food product websites. I've made this Mexican Hot Chocolate with both the 'regular' Mexican Chocolate disc, the Chipotle Chili Chocolate Mexicano and the Guajillo Chili Chocolate Mexicano. There are lots of choices, and you can always add other flavors to your hot chocolate blend. See the recipe for ideas. Let me know what you make!


Step 1: Grate a disc of Chocolate Mexicano, and set aside:
To make a traditional taza de chocolate, start by grating one disc (approx. 1.3 oz) of Chocolate Mexicano for every cup (6 to 8 oz) of hot chocolate you'll be making. Use a rasp, microplane, or cheese grater. If you're using an unflavored Mexican chocolate, add any extra spices now. Vanilla, almond, cinnamon, and chili are common additions. Keep in mind that while it's not strictly necessary to grate the chocolate before melting it into your liquid, grated chocolate melts faster and is less prone to burning to the bottom of the pan.

Step 2: Heat water or milk until just below boiling:
In Mexico, hot chocolate is typically made with water, not milk. For a thinner, more refreshing taza, use water. If you prefer a thicker, richer version, use milk. Start by heating the milk or water in a high-walled saucepan until just under boiling.

Step 3: Remove Liquid from heat and mix in chocolate:
Take the saucepan with either milk or water off heat and add in grated chocolate. Continue to mix to prevent the chocolate from sticking to the bottom. Any liquid additions (rum, bourbon, tequila, vanilla) should be mixed in now.

Step 4: Pour chocolate mixture into pitcher; whisk:
Taza de chocolate is typically served frothy, with a thick head of foam on top. This is achieved by vigorously whisking the mixture using a molinillo (wooden Mexican whisk) or a standard whisk. Pour the liquid into an earthenware pitcher or narrow high-walled vessel (or leave it in your saucepan and risk a mess). Whip until airy and frothed up, about two minutes.

Step 5: Pour mixture into warm mugs. serve :
Pour your hot chocolate mixture into pre-warmed mugs. Garnish with a cinnamon stick for stirring, grated chocolate on top, or everyone's favorite: marshmallows and whipped cream. Serve immediately.

You can find Taza Chocolate  in Stores or order online


Eve Barbeau said...

I'll have one with chili please. Sound delicious.

Anonymous said...

Yum! Temps are dropping here in Chicago, so I'll be making this tonight!

grace said...

so easy, yet so satisfying. after i had a mexican hot chocolate for the first time, the regular stuff stopped doing it for me. :)

LoLy said...

WOW, Love it :D

Naomi Hirahara said...


Now that I'm trying to lose weight, I sadly won't be having much chocolate. But I love Taza -- bought some at the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach. It has a cool cafe, too.

Hilton Head Candy Co. said...

We just shared your blog on our Facebook Page. We love Taza and feature it in our store. Thanks for your article!
Nancy @ Hilton Head Candy Company