Cortés Chocolate Hot Chocolate

These cold winter months find me craving the hot chocolate of my childhood: a simple, light and sweet hot chocolate with salty melted cheese.
The 6 year old me would light up with excitement, when, every so often grandma Mima would declare that we were going to skip dinner altogether and have ‘chocolate caliente’ instead.  She would drop pieces of sweetened Chocolate Cortés into a pot of steaming hot milk.  Each cup of hot chocolate would then receive a couple of chunks of Gouda cheese, left to melt at the bottom of the cup.  Mima served her hot chocolate with export soda crackers slathered in salty butter.  This “dinner” was always a very happy and warm occasion for me and the memory always brings a smile to my face.  
Mima’s hot chocolate was a traditional Puerto Rican hot chocolate or “chocolate caliente”.  It is sweet and light with hints of saltiness from the Gouda cheese and the glistening beads of salty butter floating on top, the result of dunking your buttered crackers.
Love and enthusiasm for hot chocolate runs in the family. Read about Angelica’s reaction to the City Bakery’s hot chocolate here.
Puerto Rican Hot Chocolate
1 cup whole milk
1 oz  Chocolate Cortés, broken into smaller chunks*
Chunks of Gouda cheese (you can also use cheddar or Edam cheese)
In a small pan, bring the milk to a slow simmer.  When it begins to steam, add the chunks of chocolate Cortés and whisk until dissolve.  Do not boil the milk. 
Pour in a cup and drop a couple of chunks of Gouda cheese.  Serve with crackers and butter. 
*Chocolate Cortés can be found in your local Latin market or the international section of your grocery isle. To learn more about the rich history of this chocolate visit the Chocolate Cortés website.

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