Yield: serves 1, multiply as needed
Bring water to a boil. Add cacao tablets and stir to combine. Reduce to a simmer and continue to stir until tablets have dissolved. Remove from heat and use an immersion blender to froth mixture. Pour into serving mug and enjoy warm.
If desired, add a splash of milk, evaporated milk, or cream.
There are various kinds of cacao tablets available. They are usually sold as a roll of tablets. For this recipe, I used Antonio Pueo tablets. It has two ingredients: cacao and sugar. This version is sold in either a tan or gold wrapper. This is the one I grew up drinking.
Antonio Pueo also sells a version that is a mixture of cacao, sugar, and powdered skim milk. This version is sold in a white wrapper.
You can also find unsweetened pure cacao tablets. Unsweetened hot chocolate will be very bitter. Add sweetener and milk to your liking.
Do not be alarmed if the cacao tablets have powdered white spots. These are not molds. That white coating is "bloom." Chocolate may bloom due to changes in storage temperature. This will not affect the taste of the hot chocolate.
WHERE TO FIND: Cacao tablets can be found at Filipino markets, as well as Asian and Latin markets. If you cannot find any cacao tablets, a mixture of Dutch processed unsweetened cocoa powder is a good substitute.