¡Ai ya! ¡Las magdalenas del monstruo están sobrando la ciudad!
I have a problem with chocolate. Not an addiction kind of problem, it’s more like the complex gauntlet of feelings a married couple goes through leading up to a separation or estrangement. My problem isn’t with chocolate per se, but rather the lofty pedestal it’s been placed upon as food of the gods. The appeal of chocolate has become so pervasive and universal as to make it ubiquitously available, which has invariably led to a massive spectrum of quality, the majority of which have been dulled and flattened to appease the less sophisticated Western palate. Most commercially available chocolate shares the same stigma as boxed macaroni and cheese; so many people are used to the low balled version that the “real thing” would taste almost alien to them.
Now, I’m not trying to be a snot-nosed foodie and say that you haven’t tried real chocolate until you’ve tasted a raw cacao bean or anything, but I’m also of the mind that the more often chocolate is utilized or abused in products, the less special it becomes. This is why I don’t bake with chocolate very often, not because I don’t like it, but because it’s such a mysterious, multidimensional, powerful ingredient that I want to make sure I use its magic properly.
Then again, the ancient Aztecs didn’t quite think that way when it came to their version of hot chocolate. Before that asshole Cortez came along and wrecked everything, they were known to guzzle gallons of what they called xocolatl, (pronounced “HOCK-a-lottle”) and since they didn’t know from sugar, they tempered its natural astringency with hot peppers and other spices. The recipe that follows isn’t an attempt to recreate that brew with any degree of authenticity, but rather an experiment to see what other kinds of personality traits can be brought out of something that usually tastes the same every time you eat it, like chocolate.