Oaxacan Hot Chocolate
This is our adaptation of traditional Oaxacan hot chocolate, which uses freshly roasted cacao beans to provide chocolate flavor and finely ground nuts rather than dairy to add richness. Since cacao beans are hard to find in the U.S., we opted for unsweetened chocolate; like cacao, it has no added sugar or milk solids, so its flavor is pure and potent. Even average supermarket brands yielded excellent results. A small amount of almond butter was an easy way to give the drink a rich creaminess. Contrary to popular belief, traditional Oaxacan hot chocolate is not flavored with chilies, but we did like the gentle tingling heat of a dash of chipotle chili powder; add up to ¼ teaspoon, or leave it out, if you prefer. Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to three days. Reheat gently in a saucepan over medium-low just until steaming.
ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
cups hot (about 100°F) water, plus 1 cup boiling water
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