Hot chocolate alla Modicana: Nonna Elvira's Recipe

Winter has finally arrived in Sicily. It is officially cold and there is nothing better I can think of than a cup of hot chocolate to warm us up. After all, making a hot chocolate is the easiest and best way to use Modica's traditional chocolate. Those who follow my blog or have been to Modica know all about this special kind of chocolate, those who encounter it for the first time can go to my Guide to Modica's chocolate.

My grand mother Elvira liked her chocolate thick and creamy, and we have always used her recipe to warm up on a cold winter day like this. I usually use less sugar, about 70gr and prefer icing sugar. I often choose to make it with the orange and cinnamon chocolate I make at home (see picture on the side) or get one of the many options the Dolceria Bonajuto offers.
Luckily I also found it in her recipe book and took a picture to share it with you in her original writing which I find so beautiful!

1 lt milk
100gr cocoa, for us this means Modica's chocolate previously grated.
150gr sugar
50 gr potato starch (or even corn starch)


Mix cocoa, sugar and starch in some cold milk in a pot. Try to obtain a smooth paste with no lamps in it. When all the ingredients have been mixed well together, add the remaining milk and place on the fire. Keep stirring with a ladle or wooden spoon and let it simmer for 10 minutes at least, so to make sure your chocolate will be thick in the end.

Apparently, I am not the only one in the family with an obsession for cleanliness and specific ways to go about cooking, as you probably noticed in my Top 10 Cooking Mistakes post. Within the chocolate recipe, my grandmother added a note in parentheses after she mentioned the use of a wooden spoon and wrote: DO NOT USE the same spoons you use to mix various sauces and other kind of food, because, even thought you washed them, they might have absorbed certain flavours which are not compatible with the taste of chocolate. Bless her!

Written on
January 21, 2013
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