Food Buzz

How to Make Xocoatl, the Aztec Chocolate Drink

The first chocolates were not bars but drinks. In fact, throughout most of the history of chocolate making, it’s well-known as a form of beverage. Chocolate wasn’t also associated with the word “sweet” until recently. It comes from the Nahuatl word “xocoatl” which means “a bitter drink from the brewed cacao beans.”

The History of Xocoatl
Today, you can duplicate xocoatl without having to grind the beans yourself. You can even add other spices such as anise, cinnamon and vanilla besides chili peppers. The drink has been present even before the Olmec culture. They were the first to cultivate, ferment and roast the cacao beans.

Chocolate was considered a drink reserved for gods. Only the nobility, priests and warriors were allowed to drink it. Even when it was introduced to Europe after Hernan Cortes returned from Mexico, chocolate could only be accessed by the rich Spanish.

It was only after the invention of the cocoa press by Coenraad Johannes van Houten, that it became popular among the masses. This made the process of extracting the cocoa butter from roasted beans easier. The byproduct was turned into powder then mixed with different ingredients. The concoction was poured into molds and then hardened. This was the beginning of modern chocolate.

Ingredients for Xocolatl with Jalapeño
2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
2 cups of water
1 sliced Jalapeño
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 teaspoons of sugar or more, optional

1. Mix the water and jalapeño in a saucepan then boil the mixture.
2. Add cocoa powder, vanilla extract and the sugar.
3. Keep stirring the ingredients until the chocolate has dissolved.

Ingredients for Xocoatl with Chili Pepper
1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
5 and 1/2 cups of water
1 green chili pepper
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

1. Boil 1 and 1/2 cups of water then add the sliced chili peppers including the seeds. Boil for another 5 to 10 minutes.
2. Remove the chili pepper and seeds from the water by straining. Add 4 cups to the remaining water.
3. Slow-boil in medium-low heat then add cocoa powder and vanilla extract. Stir the concoction for 5 to 10 minutes.
4. Keep stirring until the cocoa powder has fully dissolved.

Ingredients for Xocoatl with Cinnamon and Cayenne Pepper
50 g of dark chocolate bars
300 ml of water
A pinch of cinnamon
A pinch of cayenne pepper
Vanilla extract

1. The chocolate bars must be broken into smaller pieces then placed inside a jug.
2. Boil the water then pour it in the jug which contains the chocolate bars
3. Add cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and a few drops of vanilla extract.
4. Mix all the ingredients until the chocolate has fully dissolved.

Posted by Editor in Food Buzz

Cooking Steak Made Easy

Don’t you just love steaks? Maybe you’re having a family reunion or just another gathering with your friends or maybe even just a night with your special someone, steak would be a perfect meal to serve! The question is, how do you make a perfect steak?

What Makes Steak Special
Steak is a unique food as making it is more concerned with the technical way of cooking rather than the ingredients used. Of course the ingredients are important but a steak has to be cooked perfectly. Either medium-rare, rare, or even well done, there are a lot of different ways to cook a decent steak.

Depending on the type of meat you choose to use, the procedure of cooking your steak may differ. The size of your steak is also very important. There are also many different types of steak and a lot of different ways to cook them but what we will discuss is how to cook a basic porterhouse steak.

For Starters: The Porterhouse Steak
The porterhouse steak is one of the most popular steaks to cook and is rather easy compared to other steaks as it is an even mixture of meat and fat rendered together perfectly. The condition of this steak is very important before you actually cook it. Making sure your steak is relaxed and at room temperature is very important because if it is too cold, your steak will not be cooked in the middle while if it is too hot, the juices won’t be able to retain inside your steak which would be quite a waste of a good steak.

A simple seasoning around your steak is important but do not overdo this as you do not want to ruin the natural goodness of the steak itself. Applying salt and pepper is a must to almost every dish and steak is not an exception. Using herbs with your steak are just fine but you must definitely pick the perfect herbs and try not to mix too much flavors as once again, it might ruin the natural taste of a good steak.

The Easiest Way to Cook Steak
There are many ways to cook a good steak but the easiest way to cook your steak is pan fried as it does not require a grill plus you have absolute control over the temperature. A lot of good chefs like to play with temperature and not just timing as they are cooking a good steak.

They frequently adjust the temperature to get the right amount of crust outside of the steak and retain the juicy tenderness of the steak within. Alternating your steak is important as you are expected to have an even cook on both sides for the juice to be pushed and retained in the center. You can never go wrong with a good steak!

Posted by Editor in Food Buzz