Sikawate, anyone? Hot tsokolate From Tablea

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I am sipping hot tsokolate for merienda. My mom often called it SIKWATE!, the Visayan dialect for hot chocolate drink. I bought a lot of these tablea last year so I am just drinking the leftovers. Our Noche Buena is never complete without the hot tsokolate made from the native Tablea (cacao chocolate). I often visited my great grandmother in Cebu and her past time involved making tablea. The fragrant aroma is something that can never replace all those Starbucks frapucciono or chocolate drinks from fancy coffee shops. However, tablea is best prepared using a batirol and a tsokolatera so the consistency is smooth. A batirol is a wooden whisk used to mix tablea (a block of pure cocoa) and water into a thick, grainy, hot chocolate drink. The tablea and water are mixed in a cast-iron pitcher called a tsokolatera. Like a kawali or wok, a tsokolatera (Chocolatera or Chocolate Pot) performs better as it ages.
I am using the tablea that I bought from Richard Benson K. Co @TalesfromtheTum of twitter. His tablea is pure , made from 100% premium cacao beans from Davao . Davao farmers harvest world-class cacao beans so you know you get the best tablea from Richard. In 2009, Chokolate de San Isidro began exporting cacao beans to neighboring countries in Asia and Germany and Belgium in Europe. There are other Tablea suppliers that sell their tablea with sugar and milk powder but I only buy pure tablea.  The tablea I bought from Richard did not come with any instructions . These are my proportions.

For one cup of hot tsokolate:

Nope, this is not toblerone , just tablea shaped into toblerone.

1. Dissolve these four pieces in 1/2 cup warm water until the mixture is no longer grainy.

2. Pour the mixture into the tsokolatera or saucepan. Add 1 cup of water and bring the mixture to a boil .

3. Once the chocolate mixture starts to boil, swirl the batirol with the palms of your hand. If it gets too hot, just twirl the batirol. Lower the flame as it starts to foam. The smell is so good.

Using the batirol to mix the chocolate will ensure smooth consistency of your drink

4. Continue mixing for 15-20 minutes depending if you like the consistency to be medium thick or thick. It took 15 minutes to get my desired thick consistency.

Remember tablea is not instant chocolate so don’t expect consistency to occur in just 10 minutes

5. Once ready, pour into cups. You need to add milk because the hot tsokolate feels grainy to the throat.

Mix condensed milk as desired. You can also use evaporated milk with sugar. Serve with suman sa ibus or Suman Flavored with Ginger. Dipping my suman into the chocolate drink is absolutely perfect and nothing beats the aroma of hot tsokolate.

Variations:

As a variation. mix half of the hot chocolate drink with 1/2 cup of brewed coffee. My daughter loves this combination. Another daughter crushed peppermint candy into the hot tsokolate.  You can garnish with cinnamon sticks,  melted caramel, mini white marshmallows, grated orange zest, whipped cream or other toppings.

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