Tsokolateng batirul

I am not sure if I have posted about tsokolateng batirul (whipped hot choco), and if I haven’t,  what a shame. Otherwise, if I have, why not another post on this favorite Christmas drink in these parts… and there too, I guess.

This hot chocolate drink is whipped, but not via the typical electric kitchen gadgets, but by hand, both hands to be precise. The chocolate is poured in a long slender container (usually made of iron, aluminum, or tin, although some olden ones used bronze or copper too). It comes with a frother by the form of a wodeen device where the bottom part is carved with wedges.This is to air out the drink while whisking, and let the bubbles rise to the surface. It’s essentially an old school cappuccino maker, though a thousand times easier to use.

The holidays are over but my mom is currently preparing some ground chocolate paste from scratch for a breakfast meeting she’ll be hosting next week. She bought a kilo of peanuts and a kilo of cacao (chocolate beans). She roasted them and then removed the skin/film from both the peanuts and coco beans. She will have them ground in the market place where she bought these beans, in the same machine used to grind rice into “tapong” or rice flour. After grinding, the product is essentially a dense chocolate paste, a little softer in form than tableas.

How to make the drink is really very simple. You just add a spoonful or two of the chocolate paste with fresh milk (preferably carabao’s milk), add the amount of sugar you prefer, then boil it. Typical ratio is a teaspoon of chocolate per mug of milk, but you can adjust this, of course. When it is boiling, you whisk it to high heavens and then serve scalding hot.

This is best enjoyed with the holiday treats made of rice or cassava — like suman (rice cake), gabi (taro cake, or halayang ube (purple yam cake).

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