Epileptic Fit Hot Chocolate

My typical recipe for drinking chocolate involves cocoa powder, whole milk, a pinch of salt, and some vanilla. No sugar. Chocolate is supposed to be bitter. A pinch of cayenne pepper will serve, too.

But sometimes, once in a blue moon, on a particularly bad day, you have to do something different. Here’s one way to do it.

This recipe sprang from a fundamental misunderstanding about hot chocolate in Madrid. You only ever eat churros and chocolate at 4 in the morning after being out drinking all night. So of course, when trying to replicate the recipe I used Drunk Guy Logic. It goes like this:

Yum. Chocolate good. Thog like chocolate. Chocolate thick. Thog like thick chocolate. Thog wonder how pretty Madrid seÃ’orita make chocolate so thick. Mmmmmmmmm, chocolate. Thog think pretty Madrid lady probably just put lots of chocolate in. Yeah, that it. Thog sure.

You see, it never occurred to Thog that they used corn starch. What can I say. It was 4 in the morning.

So, I eventually figured out how to replicate the experience of Madrid chocolate, without using corn starch. There are a few key differences between my recipe and the authentic one. First, and most importantly, it is not served to you by a cute madrileÃ’o or madrileÃ’a. Second, it’s a bit more of a pain to make. Third, if you drink too much of it, you will go into a chocolate overdose seizure, and die.


Keep the chocolate wrapped in its paper. Have a friend hold the bar in mid air. Thwack the bar near the end with the ball-peen hammer, shattering it. Take off some large pieces – you’re looking for maybe between a half pound and a pound of chocolate – and put them in your double boiler or bain marie. Heat on medium, checking every 5 minutes or so. Try not to mess with it too much.

Try to not get any water at all (including condensation from steam) into the chocolate. If any water does get into the chocolate, it will seize up and harden. If this happens, don’t panic. The solution to water in your chocolate is, counterintuitively, to add more water and mix it in, until it flows again.

Once the choclate is soft and molten, add milk and stir. It should still be somewhat thick even after adding the milk; if you used a sufficiently stupidly huge chunk of chocolate to start with, and a small saucepan, you probably won’t be able to thin it out too much. Heat it through. Serve when the little pieces of chocolate that re-solidified when you added the milk are melted again.

When drinking this with friends, always make sure at least one person abstains. That person can be the one to call 911.

You might die. But you’ll die happy.