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Mexican Hot Chocolate with Vanilla and Chile

Colin Clark

Servings: 2 to 3

Mexican chocolate has a grainy texture because it is made with toasted ground cocoa beans, granulated sugar, and cinnamon. Depending on the brand and how intensely chocolaty you like your hot chocolate, you may want to adjust the amount of chocolate.

Mexican Hot Chocolate is the perfect accompaniment to the traditional Mexican sweet bread, Pan de Muerto. View an article where Fany Gerson explains how to make Pan de Muerto step by step.


  • 3 oz. Mexican chocolate, such as Taza, Ibarra, or Abuelita brands
  • 1 whole dried ancho chile
  • 2 cups whole milk or water
  • 1 half vanilla bean


  • Finely chop or grate the chocolate. Toast the chile in a small (8-inch) skillet, over medium heat, turning once, until fragrant, about 2 minutes per side.

    In a 1-quart saucepan, heat the milk or water over medium heat until it’s gently simmering. Add the chile and vanilla bean. Turn off the heat and steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the chile and vanilla bean and bring the milk back up to a simmer over medium heat. Add the chopped chocolate.  Stir until it’s dissolved and pour into a pitcher. Froth with a molinillo or whisk and serve immediately.


Hot chocolate made with water is lighter but shows off the pure flavor of the chocolate, while the one with milk has a richer and creamier mouth feel.


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