Hot Cocoa with Ancho Chiles and Spices


  • 3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ancho chiles
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3 cinnamon sticks, broken in half

Recipe Preparation

  • Bring first 7 ingredients and pinch of salt to simmer in medium saucepan, whisking often. Add cinnamon sticks. Cover; remove from heat and let steep 5 minutes. Bring to simmer, whisking. Discard cinnamon.

Recipe by The Bon Appétit Test Kitchen

Nutritional Content

One serving contains the following: Calories (kcal) 243.0 %Calories from Fat 37.0 Fat (g) 10.0 Saturated Fat (g) 5.9 Cholesterol (mg) 3.6 Carbohydrates (g) 36.4 Dietary Fiber (g) 2.5 Total Sugars (g) 32.4 Net Carbs (g) 33.9 Protein (g) 7.6 Sodium (mg) 160.7Reviews Section

Spicy & Boozy Hot Chocolate (V)

Days are getting shorter and colder, so I thought we could all use something warm and delicious. Hot chocolate is pretty good on its own, but adding some Ancho chile liqueur for a hint of spice definitely took this boozy hot chocolate to a whole another level. Whether you make it for a holiday celebration or to sip alone in your PJs in front of a warm fire, I promise that this will become your new favorite hot chocolate recipe.

Making Chocolate Spicy

As much as I would like to take credit for this idea, it was the wonderful people of Mexico who first thought of making hot chocolate spicy. The Mayan people were way ahead of us when it came to daring flavors, and records show that they started mixing cocoa with water, chili peppers, and other spices as early as 500 BC.

I tried to keep things simple for this recipe by replacing any actual chili peppers with some wonderful Ancho chile liquer, also known as Ancho Reyes. Ancho chiles are simply dried ripe Poblano peppers, so they are not super hot. When dried, they have a sweet aroma and a flavor that reminds me of dried plums.

According to the Ancho Reyes website, making Ancho Reyes is a painstaking process. Dried Ancho chiles are macerated in a sugar cane spirit for up to 6 months and then blended by a Master Blender. Ancho Reyes comes in a green and red variety. I used the red variety because it’s more complex and smoky and pairs great with chocolate.

Ancho Reyes adds just a hint of spiciness, so I added a pinch of cayenne pepper to this boozy hot chocolate to get the right amount of spice. If you are not a huge fan of spicy food, I would suggest tasting the hot chocolate after adding the Ancho Reyes and then deciding if it needs the cayenne or not.

Choosing the Right Chocolate for a Vegan Hot Chocolate

I don’t digest dairy well, so I purposefully made this boozy hot chocolate vegan. Most of the chocolate that you find in stores nowadays contain small traces of milk and, in some cases, of nuts. Therefore, it’s extremely important that you choose a really pure type of baking chocolate.

I went with a bar of 99% pure, unsweetened chocolate because I also wanted to control the sweetness of the finished product. If you decide to use sweetened chocolate, make sure to taste the mixture before adding any sweeteners.

You could also use pure cocoa powder and get great results. I chose to use chocolate in bar form because it packs a bigger punch of flavor than cocoa powder.

Serving size

2 lbs game meat (from the shoulder or leg), cut into ¾-inch cubes

Freshly ground black pepper

4 dried ancho chile peppers (or 2 tbsp ancho chile powder)

2 medium onions, cut into ¼-inch dice

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp ground Juniper berry

2 cans 15 oz each chopped tomatoes

2 chipotle chiles in adobo minced

4 cans ( 15 oz each) kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Hot sauce, chopped scallions, grated cheese, cilantro sprigs, and sour cream for serving.

Before you go.

Each week, The Splendid Table brings you stories that expand your world view, inspire you to try something new and show how food brings us together. We rely on you to do this. And, when you donate, you'll become a member of The Splendid Table Co-op. It's a community of like-minded individuals who love good food, good conversation and kitchen companionship. Splendid Table Co-op members will get exclusive content each month and have special opportunities for connecting with The Splendid Table team.

Donate today for as little as $5.00 a month. Your gift only takes a few minutes and has a lasting impact on The Splendid Table and you'll be welcomed into The Splendid Table Co-op.


For the spiced hot chocolate:

  • 3 Cups milk
  • 1 Cup heavy cream
  • ¼ Cup sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 1 Teaspoon dried ancho chiles
  • 1 Cup chopped chocolate

For the black pepper marshmallow fluff:

  • 2 Cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ Cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon glucose or corn syrup
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 sheet gelatin (bloomed in ice water)
  • 1 Teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon sea salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Stem and deseed the dried ancho chiles and place in a bowl of hot water to soak for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Strain the water and place the soaked chiles in a blender with all of the other sauce ingredients. Blend until smooth
  4. Combine all the meatballs ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
  5. Scoop a heaping tablespoon of meat and roll in to a ball. Repeat until mixture is gone.
  6. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a cast iron or oven proof pan on medium high heat.
  7. Place the meatballs in the pan and let sear for about one minute.
  8. Pour the sauce over the meatballs and place the pan in the oven.
  9. Let cook for 25-30 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and meatballs are cooked through.
  10. Serve over cauliflowr rice and top with jalapeno saurkraut if desired!

Homemade chili powder

Homemade chile powder, the foundation of Tex-Mex that’s so rich, red and flavorful, is an ingredient I cannot live without. I use it with so many things, including salsa, eggs, beans, steaks, queso, tacos, enchilada gravy and, of course, chili. I’ve said this before, homemade chile powder is far superior to any store-bought brand, and it’s not that difficult to make.

I reckon the biggest challenge to making homemade chile powder is finding the right kind of chiles. But even if your usual market doesn’t have these, there may be a specialty market that has them in your area. grocer. Or you could order online from places such as MexGrocer, Penderey’s or Amazon.

The cool thing about making your own chile powder is you are in control of the flavor–it can be as hot or mild as you want it to be. I will provide you with my general recipe, but feel free to experiment, that’s part of the fun! Another thing to keep in mind is that there are two kinds of chile powder: pure chile powder, which only has ground dried chiles, and chili powder, which is chile powder blended with other seasonings such as cumin, oregano, and garlic.

Here’s my method. I start with an assortment of dried chiles, usually 3 anchos, 3 chipotles and 3 guajillos. I cut off the stems, slit them open, and take out the seeds (I find shaking them over the sink is the easiest method as the seeds can fly everywhere). I then lay them flat in a foil-lined pan and them roast them in the oven at 350 degrees for five to 10 minutes.

Alternatively, you can roast them in an ungreased cast-iron skillet until they blister, about 5 minutes. Take the roasted chiles, crumble them into a bowl and then grind them in a spice grinder or blender.

Dried chiles made into powder on their own is known as chile powder. But when you add other spices, such as cumin and garlic, however, it becomes chili powder, and is a common ingredient in its namesake dish (though goes well with many other things, too).

If I want to make a chili powder blend, I stir in cumin, garlic powder, and oregano (Mexican oregano if you can find it). Allspice and clove are also popular additions.

When roasting the chiles, there will be some searing smoke. Note that this is potent stuff that can burn your eyes and lungs a bit, so be careful. Also, you might want to wear gloves when touching the chiles as the oils are fiery.

Store your powder in an airtight container and while it will lose potency after some time, it should keep for quite a while.

Would you like more Homesick Texan? Well, I’ve started offering additional recipes for paid subscribers to help with the costs of running the site. While I’m not taking anything away, if you’d like to support Homesick Texan and have access to exclusive, never-seen-before subscriber-only posts, please consider becoming a member annual subscriptions are as low as $25. Thank you for reading, your consideration, and your support!

Ingredients in Mexican Hot Chocolate

This Mexican hot chocolate is made with real milk, 100% unsweetened cocoa powder, vanilla extract, cinnamon, chili powder, and a little bittersweet chocolate to make the whole thing a bit creamier and smoother. I also added a pinch of cayenne pepper to give it a little spicy end note, but that’s totally optional.

And of course, marshmallows. Always marshmallows.

Chiles are best when roasted on a comal, or a heavy skillet that maintains even heat.
Purchase Here

Create custom spice blends by removing the seeds and stems of dried peppers, then using a spice grinder to blend them while still dry. These mixtures are great for rubs, marinades, or the base for stocks and soups.
Purchase Spice Grinder

Recommended combinations:

3 : 1 ratio of dried Ancho to Arbol for a spicy rub for pork and beef.

3 : 2 : 2 : 1 ratio of Ancho, Cascabel, Morita, Arbol for a flavorful and balanced soup base.

1 : 1 : 1 ratio of Ancho, Guajillo, and Arbol for a simple, yet spicy and flavorful, dry marinade.
purchase chili combination

Watch the video: Ancho Salsa Recipe (October 2021).