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Recipe for Venezuelan hot chocolate

Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

Venezuelan hot chocolate

Serves 4

Hot chocolate in Central America evolved from a mix of Aztec, Mayan, and European cultures. Today hot chocolate is either mixed with or served with cheese in Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela. In Pedro Alarcon’s recipe, you heat the milk for about 20 minutes until it turns dark brown and caramelizes. That’s when the rich taste forms. Venezuelan chocolate can be ordered from El Rey distributors at www.chocolates-elrey.com.

8 cups whole milk
7 ounces El Rey Venezuelan Apamate, San Joaquin, or a bittersweet chocolate of 60% or higher cocoa.
4 ounces queso blanco, cut into ¼-inch cubes

1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring milk and chocolate to a simmer. Cook, stirring constantly, without letting the mixture come to boil. Continue cooking for 20 minutes or until the milk thickens and goes from light to dark brown.

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2. Divide the cheese among 4 cups. Pour the hot chocolate into the cups and stir gently before drinking. Adapted from Pedro Alarcon