How To Make Hot Chocolate Pods

Have you ever had Ibarra? Or maybe some of you know it as Abuelita. It is a Mexican Hot Chocolate Drink made by blending the chocolate tablet, I call them pods, into four cups of hot milk for a delicious hot chocolate with a hint of cinnamon. Not too sweet or overly chocolate, we have really come to like drinking this treat during the colder months. One day while making it, I wondered to myself if I could possibly make my own Ibarra pods. Right then I had remembered that in my last Baker’s Catalogue was a recipe for Cocoa Blocks- individual blocks of fudgie chocolate to melt into hot milk. I took their idea but poured them into cupcake liners to make the equivalent of the Ibarra pods. I got perfection.


Then I took it a step further and created other flavors like White Chocolate Spice

and Traditional Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows


and White Chocolate Peppermint.


Every flavor turned out wonderfully and my homemade version of Ibarra was spot on- not too sweet, with a perfect touch of cinnamon. These have been handy to pop into a pot of hot milk on chilly mornings to accompany my family’s breakfast and get them off to a warm start of their day.

Homemade Ibarra-Like Pods- Adapted from Baker’s Catalogue
1- 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
18 ounce semi-sweet chocolate
4 ounces un-sweetened baker’s chocolate
1/4+1/8 tsp. cinnamon oil, not extract
red sugar and cinnamon hearts for decoration, optional

In a medium size saucepan, over medium heat, stir and heat cream and milk until just starting to bubble. Remove from heat and pour over both chocolates that are in a large bowl. Let sit 30 seconds then stir until smooth and all the chocolate is melted. Stir in the cinnamon oil. Divide evenly among 9 standard-sized paper cupcake liners. Sprinkle with red sugar and top with a cinnamon heart. Store pods in a sealed container in the refrigerator or freezer.

Making the drink, heat 4 cups of milk to a scald and add one pod. Whisk gently until pod is melted through and drink is hot. If desired add a pinch of cayenne pepper to each mug, stir and enjoy. Serves 4.

For Traditional Hot Chocolate: do not add the cinnamon oil but add 1 tablespoon vanilla extract instead. Top each pod with mini marshmallows. Store and make as above. Top each drink with more marshmallows if desired.

For White Chocolate Spice: Pour hot sweetened condensed milk and cream mixture over 22 ounces white chocolate chips. Let sit 30 seconds then stir until smooth. Add 4 tsp pumpkin spice, 1 tsp. allspice, 1 tsp. fresh ground nutmeg. Pour into twelve (12) cupcake liners and sprinkle with cinnamon and top with white chocolate chips. Since white chocolate is sweeter I chose to pour it into 12 liners as opposed to 9. Store and make as above. Top each drink with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon if desired. A splash of rum may be nice too.

For White Chocolate Peppermint: Make as you would the White Chocolate Spice but leave out the spices and add 3 tsp. peppermint extract (not oil). Top with Smooth&Melty Mints if desired or sprinkle with red and green sprinkles. Make and store the same as above.

These would be perfect for hostess gifts during the holidays and a really nice addition to Bake Sales.

More Beverage Recipes:
Hot Cocoa Mix
Mexican Chocolate
Sipping Chocolate

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Have a great weekend!


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40 Comments

  1. avatar Penny
    Posted 10/30/2009 at 7:39 AM | Permalink

    You are a genius! This is such a great idea and they look beautiful too. They would make great Christmas gifts for friends and neighbors.

  2. avatar Rindy R
    Posted 10/30/2009 at 7:43 AM | Permalink

    Robin – you never cease to amaze me! What a great gift idea for the holiday season!

  3. avatar EAT!
    Posted 10/30/2009 at 7:47 AM | Permalink

    Oh my brillant friend, does your foodie brain ever take a break?

  4. avatar Karine
    Posted 10/30/2009 at 7:48 AM | Permalink

    I have never had Ibarra… and the treat you make with is sound delicious!

  5. avatar Martha
    Posted 10/30/2009 at 7:51 AM | Permalink

    I never would have thought of this. I'll definitely experiment with the hot chocolate pods for the kids. Thank you!

  6. avatar sheppy
    Posted 10/30/2009 at 8:35 AM | Permalink

    such a great idea – and with ingredients I can buy here, thanks very much.

    I loved the Ibarra chocolate when I was a kid – my mother used to make Mexican tortilla ice box cake with it, so am glad to know that I can make it myself.

  7. avatar Kelly
    Posted 10/30/2009 at 9:06 AM | Permalink

    Ingenious! You always have the most clever ideas. They all sound wonderful, and I love the idea of making these for gifts-perfect!

  8. avatar Grace
    Posted 10/30/2009 at 9:12 AM | Permalink

    masterful idea. white chocolate peppermint hot chocolate is the finest hot beverage i've ever had.

  9. avatar unconfidentialcook
    Posted 10/30/2009 at 10:24 AM | Permalink

    Wow, what a great idea! Perfect for gifts! And, as you know, anything chocolate works for me.

  10. avatar That Girl
    Posted 10/30/2009 at 10:45 AM | Permalink

    This is such a fabulous idea! And so much easier to transport up to the inlaws instead of my breakable mason jars.

  11. avatar Suzanne
    Posted 10/31/2009 at 12:44 AM | Permalink

    I love, love, love this idea!
    What do you think of making them in mini muffin cups for single serving pods?

  12. avatar Robin Sue
    Posted 10/31/2009 at 8:48 AM | Permalink

    Suzanne- I think that would work out fine. One serving of the size I made would be 1/4 of a pod plus one cup of milk. Try it and see.

  13. avatar SarahL
    Posted 10/31/2009 at 12:44 PM | Permalink

    How long can they be out of the fridge? How long till they go bad?

  14. avatar Robin Sue
    Posted 10/31/2009 at 3:15 PM | Permalink

    Sarah- The ingredients are like what you would use to make fudge so I think they could stay out of the fridge for a few days. I had made so many that I threw them in the freezer to store over a longer time. So if you are giving them as gifts, they could stay out and then let your recipient know to store them in the fridge when they got home.

  15. avatar Sophie
    Posted 11/01/2009 at 9:13 AM | Permalink

    What a cool & neat idea!!

    MMMMMMMMMM,..;all the way!!

  16. avatar noble pig
    Posted 11/01/2009 at 12:35 PM | Permalink

    This is an awesome idea!

  17. avatar Laurie
    Posted 11/01/2009 at 11:28 PM | Permalink

    So clever!!! I don't like sweet drinks, but my kids would adore these.

    I don't have time to read magazines either! They just pile up and annoy my husband, so I've let all my subscriptions go as part of our new cost conscious way of life. Sigh…

  18. avatar tamilyn
    Posted 11/01/2009 at 11:39 PM | Permalink

    You always have such inventive ideas. Great gift for the holidays!

  19. avatar Nicisme
    Posted 11/02/2009 at 12:44 PM | Permalink

    Great ideas, and now I'm craving hot chocolate!

  20. avatar Sabrina
    Posted 11/02/2009 at 9:05 PM | Permalink

    I agree with everyone else. What a great gift idea. And the kids would love this as well.

  21. avatar Ingrid
    Posted 11/03/2009 at 3:53 PM | Permalink

    LOL, I don't know how many times I read through this post. I kept getting confused by the photos, thinking they were cupcakes and then fudge. I got it! Finally! :)

    That white chocolate spice is screaming my name. I just want to eat it like that…looks so good.

    You know I'd never had that Abuelita chocolate. My blogging buddy Monica just sent me some last Friday. I'm waiting for the weather to cool. Now I'm really anxious.
    ~ingrid

  22. avatar alanna rose
    Posted 11/04/2009 at 2:06 PM | Permalink

    My mom made these for us for Halloween – so good!
    Putting them in the cupcake liners? Brilliant!!! Thanks for the tip :)

  23. avatar Anne
    Posted 11/04/2009 at 10:38 PM | Permalink

    I'm definitely going to have to try these! I usually make hot chocolate from scratch, but this would be so much easier, and still healthier than buying the boxed instant hot chocolate. Also would make great additions to my Christmas treat boxes… Thanks for the great idea!

  24. avatar Anne
    Posted 11/05/2009 at 7:01 PM | Permalink

    Hey, I made these today and blogged about them! They turned out great.

  25. avatar Holly (2 Kids and Tired)
    Posted 11/08/2009 at 1:44 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! Yours is terrific and these pods look fantastic. I've never had the Mexican Hot Chocolate or anything with the pods. Being a huge Hot Chocolate fan, I have got to try these!

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