by Eric Wharton
My Recipe Book, constantly being added to
A rich steam rose and he took a sip. Sweetness flooded his tongue, followed by cream, sugar, spices, chocolate finer than anything he had ever tasted, dark and bitter and delicious.
― Laura Madeleine, "The Confectioner's Tale"
The history of hot chocolate's goes back to 500 BC. Mayans in Mexico ground up cocoa seeds and mixed them with water, cornmeal, chili peppers, and other ingredients. It was a very different version from the hot chocolate we know today, evolving from cold and spicy to warm and sweet. Wealthy people drank it cold from large vessels with spouts, which later would be buried along with them.
The explorer Cortez brought cocoa to Europe In the early 1500s, though the drink still remained cold and bitter-tasting. It gained popularity and was adopted by the court of King Charles V as well as the Spanish upper class. The Spanish were very protective of their new beverage and it was over a hundred years before news of it began to spread across Europe. It was during the time that the drink began to be served hot, sweetened, and without the chili peppers.
In the 1700s, the hot confection spread to England. Chocolate houses, similar to today's coffee shops, became popular and trendy, even though chocolate was expensive. In the late 1700s, a recipe from Jamaica that mixed chocolate with milk became more poplar because it made the drink more palatable. At that point it began to be enjoyed as an after-dinner beverage.
Today in America, hot chocolate is usually made by combining hot water with packets of powder. Other countries have their own versions—Spain's thick chocolate à la taza, spiced chocolate para mesa from Latin America, and Italy's cioccolata calda.
11/2 cups of heavy cream
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups milk chocolate chips
6 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla extracr
Combine all ingredients in a crock pot and blend until smooth. Serve hot.
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