Spanish Thick Hot Chocolate Drink (Chocolate a la Taza)

by thomandaimee

To appreciate chocolate, it’s essential to understand how the cocoa bean was consumed in its early days. Chocolate was first enjoyed by the Aztecs and Mayans as a beverage. The cocoa seeds were ground into a paste and mixed with water and other ingredients. The Spanish brought this drink back to their country, and added one key ingredient that probably made the hot chocolate of today – sugar. Soon, the whole of Europe became enamoured with the thick liquid. The rest, as they say, is history.

Considering its deep connection with Spain, it is no surprise that the people are obsessed about chocolate as much as their football (okay, maybe lesser than football.). If the English love their tea, well, that’s chocolate to the Spaniards. Chocolate drinking establishments called chocolaterias serve this drink alongside cakes and pastries, and the more famously known churros.

My reading list included Claudia Roden’s The Food of Spain recently and it made me weak in the knees. If there was any book I wished I will write in the future, this was it. The book brilliantly captured the importance of food and it’s place in history and culture; the subtle differences in flavours and culinary styles in each region; the ingredients available and how it translated onto the dish. They say books can bring you to another world, and I felt as though I was eating my way through Spain.

Spanish Thick Hot Chocolate Drink (Chocolate a la Taza)
By Claudia Roden

Serves 2-4

2 teaspoons corn flour
500ml whole milk
100g of 70% cacao dark chocolate, finely chopped
2-3 teaspoons of sugar, or to taste

Directions

Dissolve corn flour in 2 tablespoons of cold milk. Bring the rest of the milk to boil in a saucepan and pour in the corn flour mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon. Cook over low heat for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring until the milk thickens slightly and becomes creamy.

Add the chopped chocolate and keep stirring until it has melted entirely. Then stir in sugar to taste, or just omit it like we did. Serve it warm with churros.

TIP

You can add more chocolate if you wish it to have a more chocolaty taste. We omitted the sugar as we thought it was sweet enough, even without the sugar.

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