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Spicy Mexican Hot Chocolate

Scott Phillips

Yield: Yields 4-1/2 cups

Servings: 6

The Aztecs, inventors of hot chocolate, commonly added chiles to their brew; this version uses cayenne.



  • 2/3 cup cold heavy cream
  • 1 Tbs. plus 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 oz. (1/4 cup) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1/8 tsp. Table salt
  • 4 cups 2% milk
  • 7 oz. bittersweet chocolate (65% to 70% cacao), finely chopped (about 1-3/4 cups)
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cayenne; more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 420
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 250
  • Fat (g): 28
  • Saturated Fat (g): 18
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 9
  • Cholesterol (mg): 50
  • Sodium (mg): 135
  • Carbohydrates (g): 37
  • Fiber (g): 5
  • Protein (g): 9


  • In a medium bowl, beat the cream and 1 Tbs. sugar with an electric hand mixer on medium speed to medium-soft peaks. Refrigerate while making the cocoa.
  • Put the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, the cocoa powder, and 1/8 tsp. salt in a heavy-duty 3-quart saucepan. Add  1/4 cup of the milk and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Pour in the remaining milk and whisk to combine. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the chocolate and cayenne and reduce the heat to low. Whisk until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is a little frothy, 1 minute. Add more cayenne to taste, if you like.
  • Divide the hot chocolate among 6 mugs and top each with a dollop of the whipped cream. Sprinkle a bit of cinnamon and smoked paprika on the whipped cream and serve.


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