Have you ever had Ibarra? Or maybe some of you know it as Abuelita. It is a Mexican Hot Chocolate Drink made by blending the chocolate tablet, I call them pods, into four cups of hot milk for a delicious hot chocolate with a hint of cinnamon. Not too sweet or overly chocolate, we have really come to like drinking this treat during the colder months. One day while making it, I wondered to myself if I could possibly make my own Ibarra pods. Right then I had remembered that in my last Baker's Catalogue was a recipe for Cocoa Blocks- individual blocks of fudgie chocolate to melt into hot milk. I took their idea but poured them into cupcake liners to make the equivalent of the Ibarra pods. I got perfection.
Then I took it a step further and created other flavors like White Chocolate Spice...
and Traditional Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows...
and White Chocolate Peppermint.
Every flavor turned out wonderfully and my homemade version of Ibarra was spot on- not too sweet, with a perfect touch of cinnamon. These have been handy to pop into a pot of hot milk on chilly mornings to accompany my family's breakfast and get them off to a warm start of their day.
In a medium size saucepan, over medium heat, stir and heat cream and milk until just starting to bubble. Remove from heat and pour over both chocolates that are in a large bowl. Let sit 30 seconds then stir until smooth and all the chocolate is melted. Stir in the cinnamon oil. Divide evenly among 9 standard-sized paper cupcake liners. Sprinkle with red sugar and top with a cinnamon heart. Store pods in a sealed container in the refrigerator or freezer.
Making the drink, heat 4 cups of milk to a scald and add one pod. Whisk gently until pod is melted through and drink is hot. If desired add a pinch of cayenne pepper to each mug, stir and enjoy. Serves 4.
For Traditional Hot Chocolate: do not add the cinnamon oil but add 1 tablespoon vanilla extract instead. Top each pod with mini marshmallows. Store and make as above. Top each drink with more marshmallows if desired.
For White Chocolate Spice: Pour hot sweetened condensed milk and cream mixture over 22 ounces white chocolate chips. Let sit 30 seconds then stir until smooth. Add 4 tsp pumpkin spice, 1 tsp. allspice, 1 tsp. fresh ground nutmeg. Pour into twelve (12) cupcake liners and sprinkle with cinnamon and top with white chocolate chips. Since white chocolate is sweeter I chose to pour it into 12 liners as opposed to 9. Store and make as above. Top each drink with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon if desired. A splash of rum may be nice too.
For White Chocolate Peppermint: Make as you would the White Chocolate Spice but leave out the spices and add 3 tsp. peppermint extract (not oil). Top with Smooth&Melty Mints if desired or sprinkle with red and green sprinkles. Make and store the same as above.
These would be perfect for hostess gifts during the holidays and a really nice addition to Bake Sales.