Let me show you how to make hot chocolate using cocoa in and a wonderful combination of spices for a lovely comforting drink. Chocolate con leche espeso (creamy Dominican spiced hot cocoa) is an easy, flavorful drink perfect to warm our bones during these colder days.
Why we ❤️ it
This thick, spicy Dominican milk cocoa was a favorite in my parents' home. Many times mami would serve it for breakfast, or dinner, and it was always a comforting drink. It is perfect on the cooler days of the year.
"Ya se siente la brisa" (we can feel the breeze) is the Dominican phrase we use to signal the change in the season and the atmosphere of the holidays. Not having much of a winter, we still enjoy cooler temperatures, shorter days, and general merriment. Time to dust off baking utensils, hot drinks, and long cooking, and make this homemade hot chocolate recipe.
Each home may have different touches to their own recipe for this milk chocolate drink, so you can try to adapt it to your own preferences.
Vegan hot chocolate
Although not a traditional way of making this, you can substitute milk for soy, rice or almond milk for a dairy-free vegan version. Bear in mind the taste will differ from the traditional one.
Coconut milk, however, just doesn't go well in this drink, in my opinion.
Low carb cocoa
For lower carbohydrates content, you may try it with your preferred sweetener instead of sugar.
Chocolate espeso (creamy spiced hot cocoa).
You can make this recipe with either semi-sweet chocolate bars, dark chocolate bars, or unsweetened cocoa powder, you may need to adapt the quantity depending on the brand you use and your preferred level of chocolate flavor.
You can add a tablespoon of vanilla extract if you want, some people do.
We typically make this with cinnamon sticks, but you can use a teaspoon of cinnamon powder instead if you so prefer.
Ah, and thanks to Aunt Ilana's husband for bringing me a batata asada (roasted sweet potato) from El Cibao. Talk about flashbacks. My grandmother used to serve everyone a cup of hot chocolate with batata asada for breakfast, and my mom with pan de agua, which we dipped in the chocolate.
About this recipe
My mom didn't add ginger to her chocolate con leche espeso; this is something I tried myself and liked. It's quite subtle, nothing like ginger tea, but this being the holiday season, you know ginger has to be part of it. It works.
If you have a secret tip that makes your hot chocolate great, please share in the comments.
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Chocolate con Leche [Recipe + Video] Hot Chocolate Dominicano
- In a medium saucepan or small pot combine milk, cloves, cornstarch, sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, chocolate, and 1½ cups of water.Whisk to combine.
- Heat over low heat and simmer, stir constantly until the chocolate melts (or the cocoa dissolves) and the hot cocoa mix starts to thicken a bit (about 10 mins, from the time it breaks a boil). Sieve and pour into 4 mugs and serve.
Nutritional information is calculated automatically based on ingredients listed. Please consult your doctor if you need precise nutritional information.
Hot chocolate can be made with either milk or water. We have a non-dairy Chocolate de agua recipe (water chocolate), and a milk chocolate mix hot drink.
Yes, you can substitute almond milk for milk in this recipe. The flavor will be different, but it is still very good.
To use cocoa powder instead of chocolate you just have to follow the same process for both recipes, buy you may need to adjust the amount of cocoa powder to your liking.
Published Dec 1, 2016, revised