Hot Chocolate / Foam / Custardy Thing! A Dairy-Free Vintage Recipe Swap

Hot Chocolate Foam

It’s Burwell General Store Recipe Swap time again!  Click on that site for a background on our awesome group of 20-ish swappers from the world over!

I’m usually rather prepared for this monthly recipe swap, with ideas bandied about and recipes tested.  But the holidays.  The HOLIDAYS! I sorta went into hibernation mode after New Years, bunkering down with work and not baking for DAYS.  I’m also working on a gluten free pasta feature for Easy Eats Magazine, so my kitchen has been ALL about pasta lately (not a bad way to start a new year).

Thankfully CM picked a relatively easy and festive recipe for our first of 2012:

Burwell General Store Recipe Swap recipe, January 2012

A frothy, potent cocktail dessert.  Which, were I entertaining, I’d totally jump on.  Which, were I totally still drinking my fill, I would make for myself if I weren’t.

But, like I said, I’m hunkering down, hibernating, rolling and boiling pasta and entertaining only the resolute January tradition of simplifying and stripping down the gluttonous and extravagance that I totally indulged in these past few months.

Along with making lots of pasta, I’ve  been experimenting with custards (check out my new favorite, Coconut Milk Creme Brulee!).  So I have lots of egg whites proofing in the fridge, ready for the macaron making that gets soclose to happening and then quickly abandoned when Downton Abbey is once again rerun on the tube (yay for season two starting tonight!).

A few months ago I was working on a hot chocolate recipe that my photographer partner and I were pitching to Saveur (it’s coming out soon!).  For it I was playing with a spicy Mexican hot chocolate recipe from Beaner Bar and one from my buddy Johnny Iuzzini that required a coconut milk foam.  Could I take this basic swap recipe, use some of those lonely egg whites and leftover bricks of chocolate and my newly-found hot chocolate skills and make my own deliciously foamy, dairy-free hot chocolate?

Yes, I could. And did.

Now, I’m not hugely into a lot of sugar in my sweet drinks: I’d rather punch something up with liquor.  And even though I have an incessant sweet tooth, I’ve need to chill the f out with all the sugar (sorry for the vulgarity).

So here we have an incredibly creamy, frothy, custardy, chocolatey foam that you can adapt for the occasion.


  • Add 1 Tbsp of white or raw sugar to sweeten it up and drink/eat it straight as an incredibly creamy hot chocolate.
  • Add some red wine or liquor for a potent cocktail.
  • Spoon over an incredibly sweet dessert to add some unique texture and flavor balance.
  • Spice up with a bit of cayenne for a smoky, warming treat.
  • Use as a dip for shortbread cookies or cut up fruit

Whatever you use it for, this is a quick, easy, satisfying little trick of a recipe and a technique that might inspire some creative new desserts for 2012.

Happy New Year Bloggereaders.  I am so thankful for you!  And for some of my favorite bloggers out there who I monthly get to play with!  Please check out my fellow swappers by clicking on the little frog right here:


This mixture makes about 1 1/2 cups of foam, good for 2 people for a small dessert or one large hot chocolate, depending on what you add into it.


  • 1 packet (two bricks) Mexican Chocolate
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg (plus more for garnishing)
  • 3/4 cup milk per person (I used unsweetened almond)
  • 1/4 cup egg whites per person


  • Crush chocolate to a fine powder.
  • Add cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg and whisk to combine.
  • In a saucepan over medium heat, whisk 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp chocolate mixture, milk and egg white until the mixture thickens and doubles in size.  This may take about 6 minutes or so of constant whisking, until it’s nice and thick.
  • Serve garnished with a bit of the crushed chocolate, some freshly grated nutmeg, candied ginger or whatever leftover cookies you have around ready for dunking.


  1. YUMmee! Love the title to begin with but I also love that you stayed true to your mission and whipped this up too. All the ingredients sound perfect for the season. ‘I’ll take 2, please!’

  2. Julia says:

    I was totally in a quasi hibernation around New Years too. But Im out, and loving this version of hot chocolate! Awesome that is uses the whites too!

  3. Caffay Way says:

    I love this recipe – will need to make it for my daughter! Your site is such a great go to source for gluten free dairy free baking/cooking. I just mentioned it to a total stranger the other day who said they had celiac.

  4. Paula says:

    You are busy! Congratulations on the upcoming Easy Eats feature and on the Saveur feature. That’s wonderful for you. You should be very proud of having come up with this latest foamy/frothy diary free creation too.

  5. YES! I see we were of the same mindset to make this recipe chocolate-y… isn’t everything better with chocolate? This looks amazing, and as I have been on a huge hot chocolate kick lately, I’m sure it will only feed my addiction!

  6. Rachel says:

    Those Mexican hot chocolate bricks are quite possibly my favorite form of chocolate in existance. I’d eat them on their own if the weren’t so messy. Your milky, frothy dessert looks like an even better take on my favorite chocolate drink and I cannot wait to try this!

  7. Shumaila says:

    I love mexican hot chocolate and these look absolutely delish! And shucks I forgot Season 2 Downton Abbey started yesterday! Thanks for reminding me. Love the show and love your take for the swap!

  8. Kim Bee says:

    Being the resident sailor I tend to be I lol’d at your sugar comment. I always have to watch myself as I am cursed with “trucker mouth”. This is a wonderful recipe. I love me some hot chocolate. I just did a coconut version recently. Not happy with the pics so might remake it to post. I hate when you make something and the pics blow but the recipe rocks. So disheartening. I need photography classes in a big bad way.

  9. Lana Watkins says:

    I always have egg whites left over in my freezer and I just LOVE when I encounter a recipe that uses them (you can only make so many meringue cookies in a season:)
    I like every single flavor in your recipe! How can you not win with chocolate?

  10. PolaM says:

    Wow what an interesting recipe! hot chocolate with no dairy and egg whites, if you hadn’t put up the pics I wouldn’t have thought it looked that appetizing! great job!

  11. Alli says:

    I like the spicy combination of cinnamon, ginger and potentially cayenne. Homemade hot chocolate is such a great spin on the original recipe…so nice and warm!!

  12. rosemarried says:

    Ha, I’m with you on the chilling the f out with the sugar. I like that this recipe can be easily adapted (according to your cravings). It sounds like you have so many fabulous things going on, but I’m glad you have time for us swappers. :)

  13. It got very cold here today in sunny Florida and I am dreaming of a cup of your awesome hot cocoa. I have a nice piece of ciambella to dip in it;)Have a wonderful weekend.:)xx

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