“It’s like drinking liquid heaven! Shared it with my friends in amazement and they all praise me for it thanks to you!!” ~Kitty
Castilian or Spanish hot chocolate
Spanish hot chocolate, aka Castilian hot chocolate, is a beloved beverage with a long history. It was introduced to the country by the conquistadors who brought back cocoa from the Americas in the 16th century. Since then, Castilian hot chocolate has become a cultural icon and a symbol of Spanish cuisine. While the exact reason Spanish hot chocolate is called “Castilian” is not clear, it may be because Castile was an important center of chocolate production and consumption in Spain.
One of the distinctive features of Castilian hot chocolate is its thick texture. The drink is so thick that it is often served with churros, for dipping. In Spain, it is common to enjoy hot chocolate and churros for breakfast or as a snack.
I discovered this amazing hot chocolate in the 1980s when Anna Thomas published a recipe for it in her Vegetarian Epicure book two. I’ve been drinking it (and dipping) ever since.
what you’ll need for Spanish style hot chocolate
The secret to Castilian hot chocolate’s flavor and texture? Good quality cocoa powder and…corn starch.
- unsweetened cocoa powder
- if you don’t have access to Spanish cocoa powder use a good quality brand. American substitutes for Spanish cocoa powder are 1. Hershey’s (You can mix their natural and Special Dark varieties,) 2. Ghirardelli, or 3. Valrhona. You can also make this with shaved Spanish chocolate called Taza which you can buy here if you can’t find it in a local market.
- you can use less sugar if you like. You can also use alternative sugars.
- arrowroot powder can also be used.
- whole milk
- you have lots of choice here. You can use alternative milks, or you can enrich your hot chocolate with half and half or cream.
Spanish vs American cocoa powder
Spanish cocoa powder is often alkalized or “Dutch-processed,” which means that the cocoa beans are treated with an alkaline solution to reduce their acidity. American cocoa powder, on the other hand, is typically not alkalized. This process affects the flavor and color of the cocoa powder, making Spanish cocoa powder darker and milder in flavor compared to American cocoa powder.
- Valor: Valor is a well-known brand of Spanish cocoa powder that has been producing high-quality cocoa products since 1881. Their cocoa powder is made from premium cocoa beans and has a smooth, rich flavor.
- Cola Cao: Cola Cao is a popular Spanish brand that produces cocoa powder, as well as chocolate spreads and other chocolate products. Their cocoa powder is made from natural and alkalized cocoa, giving it a balanced, bittersweet taste.
- NatraCao: NatraCao is a Spanish brand that produces organic and Fairtrade-certified cocoa powder. Their cocoa powder is made from premium cocoa beans and has a rich, intense chocolate flavor.
- El Barco Delice: El Barco Delice is a Spanish brand that produces high-quality cocoa products, including cocoa powder, chocolate bars, and chocolate spreads. Their cocoa powder is made from premium cocoa beans and has a smooth, creamy texture.
why we love Spanish hot chocolate
I’m a sucker for a thick rich hot chocolate, and this is pretty much the ultimate. It doesn’t need any embellishments, so forget about marshmallows or whipped cream. Think of this hearty Spanish hot chocolate an an indulgent pot de creme, or deep chocolate pudding, only drinkable!
more decadent chocolate recipes
Spanish Hot Chocolate
- medium saucepan
- In a pan mix the cocoa and sugar together.
- Dissolve the cornstarch in the water and add it to the pan, stirring together to make a paste.
- Heat the mixture, and with a whisk pour in the milk. Heat over medium heat, whisking often, until the cocoa comes to a simmer. Continue to heat and stir until the cocoa becomes thick and glossy. The color will deepen as it thickens.
- Pour into large mugs and enjoy.