Chocolate lovers may be surprised to learn this confection was originally enjoyed as a drink. The Aztecs discovered that by crushing cocoa beans into a paste and adding spices, they could make a refreshing and nourishing beverage. Unlike our indulgent hot chocolates, the original would have been thin and bitter. Explorers brought the drink back to Europe in the 16th century where, once sweetened, it became popular as an expensive luxury.
To make the best hot chocolate:
- Use full-fat milk.
- Use high-quality chocolate – Swiss or Belgian chocolate buds are ideal.
- Avoid chocolate powder as it can be too sugary and is hard to dissolve.
- Avoid anything low-calorie – hot chocolate isn’t about calorie counting, it’s about indulging your appetite for a sweet, satisfying hot beverage.