Thick and creamy French style hot chocolate gets a spicy twist with the addition of cayenne and cinnamon. If you're looking for a booze free way to show yourself a little love this weekend, try my Spicy Aztec Sipping Chocolate recipe.
February is American Heart Month, likely because of Valentine's Day. And while that Hallmark holiday isn't really my favorite (I think you should show your people love EVERY day), I'll take any excuse to ingest dark chocolate in every possible format. This spiced drinking chocolate is no exception to that rule.
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Why This Spicy Hot Chocolate is Awesome
We're still smack in the middle of winter, and even though we've had some beautiful sunshine lately, it's still COLD outside. As someone who almost always has cold hands and feet, the coziest way for me to warm up is wrapping my hands around a mug of something hot and delicious. When that tasty something also happens to have a little kick to it, I seem to warm up extra fast.
It doesn't hurt that spicy chocolate has an almost aphrodisiac-like quality for me, making it perfect for even the cheesiest of holiday celebrations. Because is it even Valentine's (or Galentine's) without chocolate? I didn't think so.
I also love how simple this sipping chocolate recipe is. You basically just heat up some milk enough to dissolve a touch of salt and brown sugar, then add dark chocolate chips, vanilla and spices and stir until combined. The whole process just takes 5 minutes, and it is so much tastier than any powdered hot chocolate out there.
Oh, and even though it tastes absolutely sinful, each serving is just over 300 calories and is packed with 8 grams of protein and about 25% of the daily recommended value for calcium. That's a dessert I can get behind!
How to Make Aztec Sipping Chocolate
This recipe is quite simple. First, set up your mise en place. I'd bet you have just about everything on hand already. Here is everything you need:
Next, set your saucepan over medium heat. Add milk, cream, brown sugar (if using) and salt. Stir or whisk to dissolve the solids, removing from heat before the milk comes to a simmer.
TIP: Don't let your milk come anywhere close to a boil or you'll risk scorching it. Trust me, it doesn't taste good. Remove from heat as soon as the sugar and salt have dissolved.
Add the spices, whisking to combine.
Add the chocolate and vanilla, allow to sit for about 3 minutes to melt.
Whisk until fully combined, taste and adjust seasoning as needed. If desired, top with a spoonful of freshly whipped cream or a homemade marshmallow. Enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely! I've found that the creamiest option is full fat canned coconut milk, with a dollop of extra coconut cream to simulate the richness of the dairy version. That said, oat milk, soy milk or any nut milks are completely acceptable. There are also quite a few non-dairy unsweetened creamers on the market nowadays, so feel free to experiment with whatever you have on hand.
Absolutely! I actually learned from master David Lebovitz that the consistency of sipping chocolate improves if you make it ahead of time and reheat it. Feel free to make a larger batch on your prep day and refrigerate for simple dessert (or a very yummy addition to your coffee) all week long.
To reheat, you can either use your microwave, the stovetop (being careful not to let it come to a boil) or my favorite method, a milk frother.
While I think this Aztec inspired spicy sipping chocolate is absolutely perfect as is, you'll hear no judgement from me if you want to make it a touch more adult. I think it would pair beautifully with some smoky mezcal and a splash of Cointreau for a bit of brightness. It also happens to pair quite nicely with espresso if you want to spike it with a touch of caffeine. 🙂
Need more sweets ideas? Check out these other recipes:
- Homemade CBD Gummies
- Black Bottomed Banana Pudding with Coffee Rum Fudge
- Coconut Ginger Key Lime Bars
- Julia Child's Favorite Brownies
If you tried this recipe for Spicy Aztec Sipping Chocolate, holler at me in the comments below. I’d love to hear how they turned out for you!
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Spicy Aztec Sipping Chocolate
- 1 C Whole Milk or sub full fat coconut milk
- 2 tablespoon Heavy Cream optional, or sub coconut cream
- ⅛-1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon Brown Sugar optional
- ½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract or ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- ½ teaspoon Cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon Cayenne or to taste
- 2.5-2.7 ounce round Dark Mexican Chocolate (e.g. Taza) chopped, preferably 72% or higher; substitute 2.5 ounces high quality dark chocolate chips or dark chocolate bar cut into small pieces
- Set your saucepan over medium heat. Add milk, cream, brown sugar (if using) and salt. Stir or whisk to dissolve the solids, removing from heat before the milk comes to a simmer.TIP: Don't let your milk come anywhere close to a boil or you'll risk scorching it. Trust me, it doesn't taste good. Remove from heat as soon as the sugar and salt have dissolved.
- Add the vanilla and spices, whisking to combine.
- Add the chocolate and allow to sit for about 3 minutes to melt. Whisk until fully combined, taste and adjust seasoning as needed. If desired, top with a spoonful of freshly whipped cream or a homemade marshmallow. Enjoy!
- Sipping chocolate can be made up to a week in advance and refrigerated.
- When making (or reheating) sipping chocolate, do not allow your milk to boil or you will risk scorching it.