Is drinking chocolate the new American cupcake? | Arts & Culture

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With the last barrage of blizzards gone, and potentially more to hit much of the country, it’s no wonder our latest sweet craze delivers a satisfaction that’s not only decadent, but also served hot. Drinking chocolate has gained ground as a “must-have” liquid refreshment in America – a direct result of the growing number of artisan chocolatiers nationwide – and is appearing on the menus of Portland restaurants, chocolate shops and bars, Oregon, New York. While the frothy drink never goes out of fashion, it has had a facelift in recent years. Forget the stand-alone whipped cream filling. Today’s boldest drink has everything from peanut butter to alcohol.

The Mayan civilization of Mexico drank chocolate 3,000 years ago. Served hot and cold, the drink was sort of a magic elixir, brimming with benefits like flavonoids to improve blood circulation and resveratrol, an antioxidant known to improve mood. “The Mayans and the Aztecs used cocoa extensively to cure several diseases,” explains Ana Rita Garcia Lascurain, director of Mexico. MUCHO Mundo Chocolate Museum, which opened in 2012. “Mixed with tlilxóchitl (vanilla) or ueinacaztli (a flower), it was drunk for a cough, or as a laxative, to induce labor and open the pores. Traditional Mexican hot chocolate is made with ground cocoa and water, spiced with chili powder and flavored with cinnamon, vanilla and sometimes almonds, which Garcia Lascurain says add to its value. nutritional. However, when Europeans adopted the drink in the 16th century, they also adapted it to their tastes, replacing water with milk and adding sugar to soften the overall bitterness. Now variations abound.

italy cioccolata densa is a thick, rich and creamy drinking chocolate served in a half-cup cup (think espresso), while Belgium is known for its hot chocolate, a steaming cup of white milk served with a bowl of finely chopped sweet and sour chocolate and sometimes marshmallows. In the United States, most people differentiate between hot chocolate – a mixture of ground chocolate and milk, similar to the Belgian or French style – and hot chocolate, a lighter version made with cocoa powder and milk or water, and sweetened to taste with sugar. But with the simultaneous rise of chocolate shops and underground bars operated by accomplished “mixologists”, the new adaptations of the drink seem endless.

Grab Hot Oaxacan, a boozy hot chocolate served in Midtown Manhattan The Jeffery with mezcal, xocolatl mole bitters and Sriracha hot sauce. Customers line up for an equally spicy version at Lilly Handmade Chocolates in Cleveland, but with peanut butter instead of spirits. AT Max Brenner in Bethesda, Maryland, guests can not only choose their liquid chocolate (which includes both black and white varieties), but also flavor the drink with caramel and sea salt, chocolate wafer balls or vanilla cream. While some of the drinks are seasonal, places like Cacao in Portland, Oregon, and The Mill in San Francisco offer the steaming drink year-round.

At The Mill (where, to be fair, it can get cold enough for hot chocolate anytime of the year), the waiters offer a rich hot chocolate made with Ambanja powdered 70% from Dandelion, a local chocolate maker. of beans on the bar. Still back in Mexico, Garcia Lascurain swears by the original. “Cocoa contains almost three times as many flavonoids as wine or green tea,” she says, “[but] due to the alkalization process [done in other countries] cocoa loses 60-80% of its flavonoid content, which signifies many of its health benefits. Additionally, dairy products can inhibit the absorption of antioxidants, which is why chocolate in water, as we drink it in Mexico, is preferable.

Drink chocolate with Chile

At Mexico Dulce patria, Chef Martha Ortiz offers sensual and spicy Mexican hot chocolate, just like the restaurant’s creative cuisine.

Makes 4 servings


4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate bar for baking 70% cocoa
1 pint of milk
1 pinch of star anise
1 pinch of ground cardamom
1 pinch of cinnamon
1 piece of deveined ancho chili
About 4 ounces, agave syrup, to taste


Boil the milk with the chocolate and the spices. When it comes to a boil for the first time, remove from the heat and let the spices infuse in the covered pot for 15 minutes.
Crush the deveined ancho chili to get flakes.
When serving the hot chocolate in a mug, sprinkle with Chile flakes.

Lots of hot chocolates from Jacques Torres Chocolates

Published in October 2013, The Chelsea Market Cookbook: 100 Recipes from New York’s Premiere Indoor Food Hall offers many versions of the familiar hot chocolate, including flavored raspberries and a Mexican-inspired version with milk instead of water, courtesy of artisan chocolatier Jacques Torres Chocolates.

For the hot chocolate:

1 cup whole milk
2 ounces of sweet and sour chocolate (any percentage), finely chopped

For the raspberry hot chocolate: 5 fresh raspberries, crushed

For the spicy hot chocolate: A pinch of ground allspice, ground cinnamon, ancho pepper powder and chipotle pepper powder.

For the hot chocolate with vanilla: ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the mint hot chocolate: 1 peppermint candy cane (let melt)

For the mocha hot chocolate: 1 teaspoon of instant coffee, dissolved in 1 tablespoon of hot water


Heat the milk in a small, heavy-based saucepan over medium heat until slightly warm. Whipping constantly, gradually add the chocolate. Cook, still whisking constantly, until the milk begins to bubble on the rim of the pan. Do not let the milk boil.
Pour the mixture into a mug. Garnish with whipped cream and / or chocolate shavings, if desired.

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