Happiness as Anarchy #170: Spanish Hot Chocolate

The thick, dark delight of Spanish hot chocolate is a gastronomical experience everyone should have more often. I was entranced by it from the first moment I tasted it in Spain nearly twenty years ago and it has never disappointed me since. Something like chocolate mousse or chocolate sauce but served in a cup, it is the ultimate afternoon tea beverage – rich, bitter, sweet, spiced, and velvety. As it’s hard to come by in Australia, I make my own.

5 tbsp good quality dark cocoa powder

4 tbsp sugar

2 tsp cornflour

1 cup water

Spices to taste: cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, vanilla – experiment!

MIx all ingredients together in a saucepan with a whisk until all lumps are gone. Heat on medium, stirring constantly until thickened. Enjoy!

Happiness as Anarchy #9: Spanish Hot Chocolate

Anyone who knows me a little knows that travelling makes me happy. France has been my most frequent destination, and Bordeaux in particular in recent years for my PhD research on wine. But just over the mountains to the south is Spain. I feel instantly at home there – it’s relaxed and easy going, Spanish is an easy language, they do siesta, and the food is amazing. I could go on for pages about all the Spanish foods I love (goats cheese, pinxtos, boquerones en vinaigre …) but I will simply share my love of Spanish hot chocolate. While in Australia we have the slushie machine that spins eternally with flourescent orange iced cordial, in Spain they have the same device for hot chocolate. It turns mesmerisingly, making waves of warm silky hot chocolate. Somewhere between a drink and dessert, it’s dark, not too sweet and has an incredibly decadent texture.

I make it as a gustatory escape to Spain when I’m on the other side of the planet and in need of a dash of Europe.

5 tbs dark cocoa powder
4 tbs sugar
1/2 tbs cornflour
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup water

Mix the dry ingredients with a whisk. Add the vanilla and water. Mix well then heat, stirring constantly until it is smooth, thick and silky. For a little extra depth add a pinch of spice such as nutmeg, cinnamon or chilli.

This recipe is more than a single serve, but if you don’t have anyone to share it with, it keeps quite well in the fridge and just needs warming.

Spanish hot chocolate