It’s snowing in Atlanta today (honestly it’s no big deal – but it does somehow make fodder for 8 solid hours of “news” coverage), so it’s a good time for Ibarra. Ibarra is Mexican table chocolate, used for making hot cocoa – basically solid cocoa, sugar and cinnamon. It’s not very pretty stuff (it looks like baking chocolate and has the texture of sand), but it makes for a pretty interesting cup of chocolate.
Two wedges to a cup of milk, heat on the stove and whisk together – you want a small amount of foam on top. You can use a blender, but typical common sense about blending hot liquids applies (blend only in small quantities, keep that little center doohickey on the lid open, etc.) or you’ll end up covered in scalding milk. If you’re all about authenticity and like to have lots of pointless kitchen gadgets, you could look for a molinillo, a carved wooden whisk, specifically made to froth Mexican chocolate, but really….
Ibarra, as I mentioned, has an interesting taste, and lends itself to variants. A pretty common addition is chili powder – HX decided to add freshly grated coconut to his. Another great thing about this stuff is it’s cheap – a pound costs about $2 at most ethnic markets.