Prep 10 mins
Cook 10 mins
Máchica is a sweetened, spiced grain blend that Ecuadorans use to enrich the texture and flavor of drinks. Spanish colonists brought this cooking technique to Ecuador from Mexico, where corn is used instead of barley. Adapted from Food & Wine magazine.
- 1⁄2 cup toasted whole barley
- 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 6 cups whole milk
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 pinch salt
- To roast barley:.
- Heat a cast iron skillet until a drop of water sizzles when dropped into pan.
- Measure barley into a sieve and rinse under cold running water.
- Pat dry with a towel. Put barley in skillet and dry roast, stirring constantly with a spoon for even toasting, until it turns golden.
- In a spice or coffee grinder, grind the toasted barley to a fine powder. In a small bowl, mix the barley powder with the brown sugar and ground cinnamon.
- In a medium saucepan, bring the milk to a boil, then remove it from the heat. Add the chopped chocolate and whisk until it is melted. Whisk in the barley mixture and the salt and cook over moderate heat, whisking, until the hot chocolate is thickened, about 5 minutes. Serve at once.