It's not a well known fact but the Philippines has got a rich chocolate culture that is believed to date back to the 1600s. Hot chocolate made from native chocolate tablets called tableas is the beverage of choice for breakfast, during Christmas or when simply enjoying rice cakes and other traditional desserts.
I’ll be honest I did not grow up on this thing. I’m more from the Milo and Ovaltine generation. My earliest memory of having Filipino hot chocolate was as a grown up at Café Adriatico. Sad but true.
So it pleased me to no end when we were gifted with Dumaguete tableas by my wife’s childhood friend - and now ninang to Eia. Thank you very much Thennie and advance happy birthday! It was very thoughtful of you!
Now, what do I do with it?
Water feature prominently in most recipes I’ve read. But since I like mine rich, thick and creamy I opted for milk and cream instead. To take the edge off the bitterness of the tableas I’ve added some Cadbury drinking chocolate.
Blogs and cookbooks recommend the use of a batidor (wooden chocolate beater) and a slender pot called tsokolatera, both of which I do not have (note to self: get some on next rip). I ended up using a saucepan and a regular whisk. The end result wasn’t too bad at all.
Hot Chocolate ala Kidpawan
1/2 cup cream
1 cup fresh milk
2 tablets of Dumaguete chocolates
2 teaspoons Cadbury drinking chocolate
2 teaspoons brown sugar
Combine the cream and the milk in a saucepan and heat until just boiling.
Add the chocolates and sugar and whisk until completely dissolved.
Top each cup with cream before serving if desired.