I love hot chocolate, and I love making my own. I decided to come up with a sort of Brazilian version based on what’s commonly consumed here. Condensed milk is an obvious choice — I think there’s an unwritten law that condensed milk needs to be added in every Brazilian dessert. I also chose cashews as they’re a pretty Brazilian nut (and fruit!), and they add a nice buttery flavor.
-2 cups whole milk
-125 grams (about 4 oz) bittersweet chocolate
-1 cinnamon stick
-2 T raw cashews
-2 T condensed milk
-2 tsp cacao powder (optional)
-1 tsp salt
Heat a pan to toast the cashews for a few minutes, then grind them finely. I’d do it with a food processor, but food appliances are expensive here, so I’m stuck with the romantic yet tedious mortar and pestle.
Heat the milk to a medium heat and add the cinnamon stick and chocolate. Stir until the chocolate melts. Add the ground cashews, condensed milk, and salt, which enhances the chocolate flavor. If you like dark chocolate, add the cacao powder. If you prefer milk chocolate, leave as is. Stir, stir, stir until it’s well blended and serve.
And because it’s typical São Paulo and the weather has been gray and rainy one day and burning hot the next, I froze some of it in an ice cube tray to make ice cream. Cheers!