Mexican Hot Chocolate

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Yield: 4 Servings


Instead of vanilla extract for this Mexican hot chocolate recipe, try almond extract if you’ve got it handy, which adds even more depth of flavor.


3 cups whole milk

3 tablespoons crushed cinnamon sticks (preferably Ceylon)

6 ounces semisweet chocolate (preferably Scharffen Berger), finely chopped

3 tablespoons demerara or granulated sugar

¾ teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of kosher salt

¼ teaspoon ground chile de árbol or cayenne pepper, plus more for serving

Lightly sweetened whipped cream (for serving)


Bring milk and cinnamon to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, whisking occasionally and making sure milk doesn’t boil, until cinnamon is floral and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Whisk in chocolate, sugar, vanilla, salt, and ¼ tsp. ground chile and cook, whisking frequently, until mixture is smooth and creamy and chocolate is melted, about 5 minutes.

Divide hot chocolate among mugs. Top with whipped cream and dust with cocoa powder.