Brrrr…Old Man Winter made an early appearance. The temperature plunged into the teens over the weekend, and the ground is blanketed with 2-3 inches of snow. This put me in the mood for some hot chocolate.
The two most popular brands of Mexican drinking chocolate that I have seen around here are Nestlé’s Abuelita and Chocolate Ibarra. Both brands of chocolate are usually sold in a hexagonal box like the ones pictures above, and there are six tablets per box. This cold weather got me thinking that it might be interesting to do a side-by-side comparison of these two drinking chocolates to see if there was any difference in flavor.
I made a single serving of each brand of hot chocolate by using a quarter of the chocolate tablet. I chopped the chocolate using a long straight-edge knife. I decided to use 2% milk because I think it lends a better texture to the final product.
Here are my results: The Abuelita chocolate took a slightly longer time to melt. In addition it did not blend together as nicely with the milk even when stirred for a length of time. On the same note, it tended to separate more easily from the milk. It did have a spicier, semi-sweet chocolate flavor.
The Ibarra chocolate was smoother, nuttier, and closer to a milk chocolate. The chocolate blended well with the milk and did not separate when left to sit for a while. It seemed creamier, and the flavor definitely was not as harsh.
Although the differences in texture and flavor were very slight, I enjoyed the Ibarra chocolate overall. Stay warm and have a happy hot chocolate season!
Click here for printable recipe.
Hot chocolate (Makes 1 cup = single serving)
¼ tablet Mexican chocolate (Ibarra o Abuelita)
1 cup 2% milk
→Pour milk into a small saucepan. Place chocolate tablet in milk. Using a wooden spoon, stir mixture over medium-low heat until the chocolate begins to dissolve. You can use the spoon to break the chocolate up. Make sure the chocolate dissolves completely.
→If you would like the hot chocolate to be frothy, use a molinillo (pictured above) to create a layer of foam. Simply spin the molinillo back and forth between the palms of your hands.
- I used a sharp, flat-blade knife to chop my chocolate. You can chop the chocolate into smaller pieces if you would like, but it will still melt if left whole.
- I did a test between Ibarra and Abuelita chocolate, and I found Ibarra to be smoother and less likely to separate from the milk.
- I like using 2% rather than whole milk because the latter tends to make the drink too thick and rich.
- You can find molinillos at Mexican grocery stores or online at www.mexgrocer.com.