Chocolate and chilli: A match made in heaven

Nothing warms you up like a mug of piping hot chocolate. What is there not to love about it? It is chocolate… period.

Nonetheless, this does not mean you cannot add your own spin to a good old-fashioned drink.

Being Malaysian, why not spike this classic drink with chilli padi? What could be more natural? We do like our food spicy after all.

Spiced hot chilli chocolate is not something new. Dating back to 460 A D, the earliest traces of hot chocolate can be found in the Mayan tombs of Guatemala.

They used to make it using a paste ground from cocoa seeds mixed with cornmeal and chillies.

Besides being the perfect mid-afternoon pick-me-up, there are health benefits to be gained from each sip of this delicious concoction.

Research from Nottingham University has shown that chilli and chocolate are good for improving blood flow to the brain. The Mayans definitely got it right with their hot chocolate.

Just four ingredients makes one perfect mug of hot chocolate.

Ingredients

• 240ml (1 cup) milk
• 8g (1/2 cup) imported chocolate chips
• 6g (1 teaspoon) Gula Melaka or palm sugar
• 1/2 green bird’s eye chilli (de-seeded and thinly sliced. About 15 thin slices)

Method

• Pour milk into a small pot and put it over the stove on medium heat. Allow milk to be heated for approximately one minute or until you see a gentle simmer.

• When the milk starts to bubble, put in the chocolate chips and Gula Melaka.

Small bubbles in the milk.

• Continuously stir the liquid so that the chocolate chips do not form clumps at the bottom of the pot.

• When the milk and chocolate chips have mixed and formed a rich, thick mixture, add in the chilli padi.

Tip: If you just want a hint of fire, add half the slices first and taste. If you want a stronger burn, add them all in and maybe even more.

So creamy, so chocolatey!

• Add 1/8 teaspoon salt to give it the YUM-factor.

Here are two extra wonderful ways to enjoy this hot concoction:

• If you are a fan of coffee, add 1/2 teaspoon coffee powder to give it a little caffeine kick! Hot chilli chocolate coffee – oooh!

• Make it a cold chilli chocolate drink by adding ice and topping with whipped cream. It’s quite a wonderful experience drinking something cold that heats you up at the same time.

This article first appeared in butterkicap.com

Butterkicap is a food and culture platform and community that enables anyone to experience Malaysia through stories of her people, food and places.