Filipino Hot Chocolate (Tsokolate Eh)

According to history, the Spanish brought chocolate to the Philippines four centuries ago through the galleon trade from Mexico. Chocolate or cacao was primarily served and prepared as a drink then. It was said that the espanolas, mestizas, and the principalia of Intramuros need their cup of chocolate to start their day. Tableas (chocolate tablets) are prepared by Chinese “chocolateros” according to the taste of each family. They would go from house to house with their grinding stones and sometimes imprint the family name or emblem on them. These would then be cooked in chocolateras and a batidor will be used to create foam. It can either be served thick – tsokolate E for espeso or thin tsokolate A or Aguado. (Source: Tikim -Essays on Philippine Food and Culture by Doreen G. Fernandez)

Drinking Tsokolate Eh is part of my childhood memories of Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Before I was ever introduced to Swiss Miss and Nesquick, I was already getting the real deal. Hot chocolate from pure cacao or tablea. This is very rich and thick compared to American hot chocolate. My Ninang Aveling is the one who prepares this for us; she will buy the chocolate or cacao from the market and have them ground. She also adds ground peanuts to it, giving it its distinct flavor and taste I love. Just think Reese’s peanut butter cups in liquid form.

There are currently several artisan chocolatiers in the Philippines; some are even internationally awarded. I, for one, have tried Auro, which was introduced to me by my older sister. Recently my youngest sister gifted me with Theo + Philo cacao tablea (chocolate made for drinking). Theo and Philo mean Chocolate and Love. This Filipino artisan brand produces high-quality chocolates and spreads and baking ingredients as well. She also sent a pouch of Premium Unsweetened Chocolate disk made by Malagos another Filipino brand in Davao.

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I made these into Filipino-style hot chocolate; this is an updated recipe since I already featured this several years ago; you can find it here.

To make, place in a saucepan one cup milk and let it warm a bit. Then add ten pieces of the Theo + Philo chocolate nibs that have been coarsely chopped and one disk of the Malagos Premium Unsweetened Chocolate. I also added one tablespoon of creamy peanut butter. Continue stirring with a wire whisk until the chocolate has melted and the mixture has heated through. Do not allow it to boil.

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Immediately pour into cups. This is enough to fill two small cups. You don’t need a big mug to enjoy this since it’s rich and thick.

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