Mid UXmas Season Tipple—Mexican Hot Chocolate

OK, who's exhausted by all the stirling UXmas content this year? I certainly am, and so I'm taking a mid-season break to bring you this UXmas tipple!

Now, this recipe is a positively decadent way to enjoy a cold winter night and will appeal to those of you in the northern hemisphere. Those of you in the Southern hemisphere will just need to pretend, OK? 

Mexican hot chocolate has a spicy chili flavor and distinct hint of cinnamon that make this non-alcoholic enjoyable for everyone in the family.  Warm, rich and spicy at the same time?  You can’t beat it with a stick.

If you don’t have a molinillo – the traditional wooden tool used to add foam to the beverage – you can use a whisk instead.  Of course, this is totally an excuse to buy a new kitchen gadget… or to get one from Santa.

Merry Christmas, Y’all!

Makes 8 drinks.

Time: 15 minutes.


  • ½ cup very cold heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 drops pure almond extract
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 ½ tablets  (4.75 oz or 135 g) Mexican chocolate.  We usually use Abuelita at our casa, but a company called Taza sells a nice sampler.
  • Pinch of cayenne to taste.  (Start with ¼ teaspoon and work your way up from there. Don’t skip the cayenne!)
  • 6 pecans or macadamia nuts, chopped


  1. Make ahead: Using an electric mixer and small bowl, beat cream with confectioner’s sugar and almond extract until it holds soft peaks.  Refrigerate whipped cream, covered, until you’re ready for your hot beverage.
  2. In a heavy saucepan, bring milk and half-and-half just to a boil. 
  3. Add Mexican chocolate and cayenne, using your molinillo to whisk vigorously until chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth and foamy on top.
  4. Pour hot chocolate into demitasse or similar small cups. 
  5. Place a dollop of whipped cream mixture on top and sprinkle with chopped pecans.
  6. Serve to friends & family.
Angela Schmeidel Randall

Angela Schmeidel Randall

Angela is the Founding Principal at Normal Modes UX & Usability, a Texas-based company that specializes in user research, usability testing and user-centered design training.

She’s also the Executive Director of the Houston chapter of the User Experience Professionals’ Association (UXPA.)  Angela loves creating applications to automate truly atrocious manual processes (her kryptonite), watching people interact with the world around them, building great project teams, and cooking.  She lives with her husband and two children in Houston, the most diverse city in the United States.  You should visit sometime – it's not what you're expecting.

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