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The Spicy Ingredients That Make Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream Unique

Scoop of Mexican chocolate ice cream
Scoop of Mexican chocolate ice cream - Hdere/Getty Images

Most of us are familiar with Mexican hot chocolate, a tasty beverage that really warms you up thanks to the fiery kick of spices in it. Sometimes chili powder is what gives the drink it's heat, while other times it's just a bit of added cinnamon. It could also be cayenne pepper that helps ramp up the flavor of this treat, or a combination of several different spices.

Now, while Mexican hot chocolate is great for warming you up, if you love this flavor combo, you can also cool down with Mexican chocolate ice cream. Just like the hot chocolate, this frozen dessert adds a slight hint of heat to your mouth thanks to the addition of spices. The rich flavors of dark chocolate and cocoa powder perfectly complement this sensation, while the coolness of the ice cream tones it down and prevents it from being too intense. What makes it particularly special is that it uses Mexican chocolate, a special variety that has a coarser, grainier texture and typically already contains ground cinnamon, helping give it a spicy touch.

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What Makes Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream Spicy?

Mexican hot chocolate with cinnamon and cayenne peppers
Mexican hot chocolate with cinnamon and cayenne peppers - Bhofack2/Getty Images

To give this frozen dessert its spice -- just like with Mexican hot chocolate -- there are two main ingredients you'll add: cayenne pepper and cinnamon. Cayenne pepper has a medium spiciness to it but it also adds a smokiness to your ice cream that complements the dark chocolate flavor. On the other hand, cinnamon tends to have a milder and sweeter taste that's more reminiscent of cloves. Although you'll still get some spiciness in your dessert, it's more subtle and gives it more of a cozy feel rather than throwing straight fire at you.

Now, when you add these spices to your ice cream, it's important to note that a little goes a long way. When you toss in too much, you can wind up with an unpleasant and almost bitter taste, rather than something that pairs well with chocolate. For the cinnamon, you can use around 1 to 2 teaspoons of the spice per quart of ice cream you're making so it shines through without going too far. For the cayenne, however, just ⅛ to ¼ of a teaspoon per quart of ice cream will give you that subtle burn you're looking for without making your ice cream taste too savory.

Other Ways To Bring The Heat To Your Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream

Bowl of chocolate ice cream
Bowl of chocolate ice cream - Sezeryadigar/Getty Images

Although cayenne and cinnamon are a couple of standard spices for making Mexican chocolate ice cream, they're not the only ways to give this treat a bit of a kick. You can also get a similar flavor by using some chili powder. This ingredient is often a blend of different types of chilis, such as ancho and New Mexico chilis. However, it can also sometimes contain other savory spices, such as garlic. So be sure to read the label before adding it to your ice cream mix and choose one that doesn't contain anything besides chilis. Otherwise, you could wind up with a frozen treat that's a bit more savory tasting than you want.

You could also try tossing in some hot sauce to get a spicy punch added to your dessert. Frank's RedHot Original could be a good choice here, as it's a cayenne-based hot sauce and will give you a similar feel as adding the ground version of this pepper. Or, you could play around with other types of hot sauce, such as smoky Tabasco sauce or Cholula. Whichever way you choose to add a bit of kick to your ice cream, you'll be thrilled with the slightly spicy and chocolatey result.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.