In Spain, Latin America and the Phillipines, hot chocolate is an essential part of life. This thick and warming concoction is perfect for a cold morning. What makes it different from the western hot chocolate is how its prepared. Instead of a sauce pan, Tsokolate (Phillipino Hot Hot Chocolate) is made in a Chocolatera with a Milinilo. Traditional Chocolatera uses a pitcher like design to mix and froth up the drink. However the Best Chocolatera are the modern automated version. They take out a lot of the grunt work involved.
What is a Chocolatera and Molinillo?
A Chocolatera is a pitcher like pot designed to make hot chocolate. Its narrow neck encourages the hot chocolate to froth up and keep the content in. Using the Molinillo, you will twist it between the two palm of your hand. This will froth up the hot chocolate and mix the ingredients.
Traditionally, the Chocolatera will be placed on direct heat. All the content will be cooked in that one pot.
How to use a Chocolatera and Molinillo
To use a Chocolatera and Molinillo, heat up the milk in the pot. As it froths up, remove it from the heat. Add in the chocolate disk, the exact amount will depend on the recipe. Simmer it over low heat and use the Molinillo to incorporate the ingredients. I recommend twirling it between the palms of your hands. The intrinsic design of the Molinillo will help incorporate all the ingredients.
Modern Machines have a Molinillo and heating element built in. As you power it up, a little frothier spins and and fluff up the milk. You then add the chocolate to get the right consistency.
Cleaning can be a bit of a chore. Your best bet is to rinse it out with water after making. If you find that there are stubborn stuck on bits, boil water in it. For the Molinillo I recommend using a brush to get in the nooks and cranny. After washing, be sure to let it dry thoroughly. If not, the wood can split and crack.
Best Chocolatera and Molinillo List
Below, you will find a list of some of the Best Chocolatera and Molinillo. There are a few different options available, choose one that best suits you.
Secura 4 in 1 Electric Automatic Milk Frother and Hot Chocolate Maker Machine (Best Overall)
Some purist only make hot chocolate the traditional way. However, modern technology has made life easier. Secura 4 in 1 hot chocolate machine will froth your milk and heat up the chocolate all in one pot. All you need to do is press the button and it will start churning. Press it one more time and add chocolate, thats it. Much less work then the traditional pot. You can also use this machine to make milk foams for your cappuccino or coffee.
IMUSA USA Aluminum Chocolatera 2-Quart (Best Traditional Model)
If you want to make hot chocolate like how your grandma makes it, this IMUSA Chocolatera is the way to go. The aluminum construction means that it will heat up fast and give you the richest foam. The 2 qt model is preferred and can serve a family of 2-4. I recommend getting a accompanying Molinillo to help mix the drink. Just be aware, the handle on this pot will get hot, be careful when handling it.
Alondra’s Imports (TM) Elegantly Handcrafted, Wooden Mexican Hot Chocolate Frother & Stirrer (Best Molinillo)
Alondra Molinillo is handcraft with little ridges that helps incorporate the ingredients. Unlike the other models, this is hand made in mexico for a truly authentic Molinillo. The only downside with all the ridges is that its difficult to clean. Remember to use a bristle brush to help get it all out. Usually when the chocolate is still wet its easier to clean.
Making homemade hot chocolate is leaps better than instant mix. Using a Chocolatera will help get you the best results. In my experience, the electric models are the best. Its hands free and all you need to do is press a button and add ingredients. However, if you like the traditional way of making it, getting the pot is a good choice also. Imusa makes a excellent aluminum Chocolatera. Just remember to get a Molinillo as well.
Want something to sweet to go with hot chocolate? Check out our article on the Best Madeleine Cookie Modle.