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Hot Chocolate Machica

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  • Author: Asha
  • Yield: Serves 4-6 1x


Units Scale
  • 6 cups whole milk or your favorite plant-based milk
  • 1/41/2 hulled barley (not pearl barley)
  • 36 tablespoons dark muscovado sugar (or dark brown sugar)
  • 68 ounces, excellent quality, semi-sweet chocolate (60% cacao), chopped
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract (or the beans scrapped from one vanilla pod)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (more for garnish)
  • 24 teaspoons fresh ground cinnamon
  • 1/21 teaspoon fresh ground cloves
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1/21 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)


  1. In a medium size, dry pan, toast the barley over medium heat until browned and aromatic (approximately 3-5 minutes).
  2. Using a coffee or spice grinder, grind the toasted barley until it resembles the texture of flour.
  3. In a small bowl, add the toasted barley flour, sifted muscovado sugar, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, espresso powder and pinch of sea salt. Mix to combine
  4. In a medium/large pot, add the milk and the cinnamon sticks. Heat over medium/high heat, bring to a light boil, whisking frequently to avoid scorching the milk on the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat to medium/low and remove the pot from the heat while you add the additional ingredients to the pot.
  5. Add the chopped chocolate and stir until dissolve, then add the toasted barley and spice mixture and return to the heat.
  6. Continue to cook the hot chocolate over medium/low heat, stirring frequently, until it thickens (approximately 5 minutes). Remove the cinnamon sticks and add the vanilla. Stir to combine.

To Serve

  • If you like a grainer texture (like myself), serve immediately. For a smoother texture, use a regular or immersion blender to blend until smooth, being careful not to burn yourself.
  • Pour the Hot Chocolate Machica into mugs and serve as is or with optional garnishes, such as a light sprinkle of orange zest and/or, ground cinnamon or chocolate shavings.
  • The consistency of Hot Chocolate Machica will continue to thicken as the barley absorbs the moisture and the chocolate sets as it cools. I recommend serving it with a spoon or stirrer to preserve the silken quality of the drink.


Hot Chocolate Machica ranges from a thick pudding like consistency to a more liquid consistency. The spice level and sweetness can vary as well. To find your happy place, I recommend you follow this recipe, start with conservative amounts of the ingredients, then add more/adjust according to your preferences.

Store leftovers in a heat proof, airtight container (I recommend a Mason or Ball jar) in the refrigerator. The Hot Chocolate Machica will become thicker and pudding like as it sits. Enjoy it as is (up to 3 days) or reheat it, by adding a little extra milk and warm via stove top or microwave.

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