As Autumn is now making its presence felt I thought I’d share a treat with you that I got into a little while back which is making itself more a part of this Autumn’s feasting.
As the leaves change colour and you savour them and the nuts, fruits, seasonal meats and fish before the season of not so much. The wind and (almost constant) rain my treat is a cup of hot chocolate. Not just any hot chocolate but a Latino which is a joy and delight.
There are a small number of Latino bars and restaurants in my neighbourhood which I enjoy from time to time and had a Latino hot chocolate that was mindblowingly good with a familiarity I couldn’t quite put my finger on until it was pointed out it was the milk that’s used.
2-3 teaspoons of cocoa powder (NOT hot chocolate which is too sweet and lacks the chocolate punch)
A generous dollop of condensed milk (or thick sweetened milk in other parts of the world). This makes sense as in Latino countries fresh milk would go off too quickly but this way, it remains fresh for longer.
Stir vigorously until the cocoa powder and milk become a paste.
Add some boiled water about halfway full and keep stirring until loosened up.
Almost fill up the cup with more boiled water and keep stirring at which point the condensed milk will have completely loosened but you have a cup of smooth, slightly frothy hot chocolate.
At this point add either cinnamon, ginger, mace, nutmeg and/or chilli or cayenne pepper. You can add these as a combination if you like, ginger and cayenne/chilli or cinnamon and chilli work well. Again stir to blend these spices into the mixture and drink.
The surprise of the chilli hitting the back of your throat is addictive and I dare you not to drink more than one cup. This is absolutely amazing and will chase any chills away and warm you on a cold winters day.