Hot Chocolate with Máchica
© Stewart Ferebee

Hot Chocolate with Máchica


Máchica is a sweetened, spiced grain blend that Ecuadorans use to enrich the texture and flavor of drinks. Spanish colonists brought this cooking technique to Ecuador from Mexico, where corn is used instead of barley.

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  1. 1/2 cup toasted whole barley (see Note)
  2. 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  3. 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  4. 6 cups whole milk
  5. 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  6. Pinch of salt
  1. In a spice or coffee grinder, grind the toasted barley to a fine powder. In a small bowl, mix the barley powder with the brown sugar and ground cinnamon.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring the milk to a boil, then remove it from the heat. Add the chopped chocolate and whisk until it is melted. Whisk in the barley mixture and the salt and cook over moderate heat, whisking, until the hot chocolate is thickened, about 5 minutes. Serve at once.
Toasted whole barley is available at Korean markets.