14 Aug 2018

The dark and seductive history of hot chocolate

From Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan, 1:35 pm on 14 August 2018

Chocolate was first brought to Europe in drink form, and immediately took a place at the high table of the aristocracy.

Chocolate-makers were among the few servants permitted entry to lords and ladies' bedrooms, and  chocolatiers became some of the wealthiest people around.

Italian-born University of Waikato creative writing student Maria-Teresa Corino is now writing a novel about this most innocent and delicious of drinks, and she joins us to talk about it.

Chocolate was first brought to Europe in drink form

Chocolate was first brought to Europe in drink form Photo: HungryForever

And here's Maria-Teresa's secret Italian hot chocolate recipe if you're game ...


Heat milk in a saucepan. 

Mix together the best pure cocoa you can find (not drinking chocolate mix), 1/4 to ½ teaspoon corn flour or potato starch, a little sugar (you can add more later if needed).

Add a little warm milk to the cocoa mix, stir well to dissolve: this helps to avoid lumps.

Pour the dissolved cocoa into the rest of the milk, brown into white. 

Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until it begins to thicken, and is very hot but not boiling.

If, like me, you think too much chocolate doesn’t exist, add a few squares of very dark (75-90%) chocolate, stir to melt.

Pour into a very small cup, drink very hot and liquid, or allow to cool and you should be able to eat it with a spoon.


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