Hot Chocolate Agasajo-Style

  • Serves

    serves 8

Hot chocolate has long been highly popular in Spain, recalling a tradition dating back to the 17th century where it was served at lavish receptions called agasajos. Food historian Maricel Presilla kindly shared with us her version of this decadent drink.


  • 12 gallon milk
  • 14 oz. dried rosebuds or 2 tsp. rosewater
  • 1 tsp. saffron threads, lightly crushed
  • 3 sticks cinnamon
  • 2 whole dried arbol or penquin chiles
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 12 cup sugar
  • 12 lb. bittersweet chocolate


Step 1

Combine milk, dried rosebuds (or rosewater), saffron threads, cinnamon sticks, chiles, vanilla bean, and sugar in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat.

Step 2

Scald milk, stirring to dissolve sugar, then lower heat and cook 10 minutes. Remove from heat; steep 10 minutes. Strain into a large pot.

Step 3

Heat gently, then add bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped. Whisk briskly for 5 minutes to dissolve chocolate and make a frothy head.

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