If you've ever stepped into a Mexican restaurant, you've probably encountered the sweet cinnamon-laced rice milk drink called horchata.
I inquired about the recipe at my favorite taqueria and learned that back in the day, Mexican grannies made horchata by soaking ground rice in water and boiling the strained liquid with cinnamon and sugar. Nowadays most places make it from a powdered mix and add condensed cow's milk. That explains all those stomach aches I mistook for food poisoning!
I set out to make dairy-free horchata with a rich and chocolatey twist. It turned out down-right delicious. The cinnamon is what makes it; be sure to get the flaky bark kind (canela) from your local Latin market.
You can expect to find Chocolate Horchata at The Xocolate Bar come Summer 2010.
4 cups (1 32oz box) Rice Dream organic rice milk
4 Mexican cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces
1/2 cup good quality unsweetened cocoa powder (I like Valrhona)
Agave nectar to taste
1 cup coconut milk (I use So Delicious Coconut Creamer as canned coconut milk tends to taste tinny)
Simmer the Rice Dream and cinnamon sticks for 20 minutes with the lid off. Turn off the heat and strain out the cinnamon. Stir in the cocoa powder until dissolved and sweeten with agave nectar to taste. Let the mixture cool and then stir in the coconut milk for richness. Serve chilled.
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