How to Make Tsokolate (Filipino Hot Chocolate)… and a Giveaway!

You whisk and you whisk, until your arms and wrists are sore. You whisk and you whisk, until your hot chocolate bubbles to a thick, velvety consistency. You whisk and you whisk, until the chocolate smell wafts up and you are transported to your own sweet version of heaven.

Thick, frothy, with the bittersweet taste of dark chocolate and the slight graininess that sets it apart from other versions, Tsokolate, or Filipino Hot Chocolate, is one of my very favorite treats back home. Made with tablea (chocolate tablets), and tempered with milk and sugar, it is simple and luxurious at the same time. Whisked manually with a batidor (or molinillo, a wooden hot chocolate stirrer), it is a labor of love.

Paired with pan de sal (breakfast rolls) and kesong puti (white cheese), it is the breakfast I crave for and miss most. I’m back in Boston from my wonderful holiday in the Philippines, and I’ve brought back several packs of tablea. You can purchase these Filipino hot chocolate disks at some specialty stores, but if you can’t find them, Mexican chocolate disks will do in a pinch. I am a big fan of Taza Chocolate (I went to the Taza chocolate factory last year and developed a slight obsession).

It’s great if you have a molinillo on hand, but you can also just use a regular whisk or even a hand blender. Of course, while I was in the Philippines, I had the traditionally-made tsokolate, whisked by a batidor. It also helps if you are in a great mood while making your hot chocolate. Haven’t you heard of that story that your emotions transfer to the taste of the food you are preparing?

This is Tita Ine. She is my nanny/aunt/biggest fan/adobo expert/seasoned tsokolate maker. She cooks for our family and makes THE BEST Filipino food in the whole entire world. The. Best. Ever.

I asked her to demo how to make tsokolate and she gamely obliged.

How To Make Tsokolate (Filipino Hot Chocolate)

Start with 2-3 discs of tablea for each serving of hot chocolate. If using Mexican chocolate disks, use one whole disc (about 1.3 oz).

Dissolve the discs in 1 cup boiling water. Continue to boil for another five minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens to your desired consistency.

Add milk and sugar to taste. I used 1/4 cup 1% milk and 1 tablespoon muscovado sugar, but you can use any kind of milk (some Filipinos use evaporated milk) or even cream, and any kind of sugar.

You can also add in other flavor enhancers like grated/chopped milk chocolate (to add sweetness and smoothness), cocoa powder, peanut butter (some tablea are flavored with ground peanuts and this adds a nuttier taste and texture), vanilla extract, or even rum or tequila (I swear I did not do this for breakfast. Swear).

For this version, we are sticking with 2-3 discs of tablea, 1 cup water, 1/4 cup milk, and 1 tablespoon sugar for each serving.

After adding the milk, and sugar, WHISK! Transfer to high-walled pitcher (or leave the mixture in the pan), and vigorously whisk and whip and whisk until your hot chocolate gets frothy.

I told you it’s a labor of love.

The secret is in the whisking. And getting some really good quality chocolate.

Thanks, Tita Ine!

Now, you can enjoy your cup of hot chocolate… Or in my case, bring it outside and set up a little photo shoot:

Bianca: Tita, I can do this by myself! I do this in Boston all the time.

Tita Ine: Really?

Okay, maybe I needed help one last time for the action shots…

Tsokolate, truly one of the best things I’ve had on vacation. Actually, it’s one of the best things I’ve had, ever.

As for the GIVEAWAY, I couldn’t post this without giving you guys the chance to try it yourselves! Two of you (yes, there will be two winners) will win a pack each of tablea!

You can enter to win in two ways:

1) Leave a comment below telling me about one of the best things you’ve eaten on vacation.

2) Follow me on Twitter (@biancagarcia) and tweet:

Confessions of a Chocoholic @biancagarcia is giving away tsokolate for authentic Filipino hot chocolate!

then come back to this post and leave a comment telling me you’ve done so.

You can enter the giveaway twice. I’ll pick a winner next weekend, so you have until Friday, Jan. 13th, to comment. Good luck!

I hope you enjoy this little taste of my home!



90 Responses to “How to Make Tsokolate (Filipino Hot Chocolate)… and a Giveaway!”

  1. #
    Joanne posted January 4, 2012 at 9:42 am

    No more of this powdered mix crap…I’m convinced that THIS is how hot chocolate is meant to be!

    My favorite vacation food…hmmm…has to be anything I ate at Burma Superstar in San Francisco. All of the curries were perfectly spiced and so good!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted January 4, 2012 at 9:50 am

      Oooh I love anything spicy! I haven’t been to SF in years and really should make the trip, esp for the food!

  2. #
    Meghan posted January 4, 2012 at 9:47 am

    I think some of the best food I ever had was in Aruba. My favorite dish was at a restaurant on the beach called flying fish bone. Our tables were IN THE WATER! I had pasta nero with fresh lobster and other sea food on top. Seriously one of the best things I ever ate! :)

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted January 4, 2012 at 9:51 am

      Is it wrong that I now want pasta nero for breakfast instead of my oatmeal?

  3. #
    Meghan posted January 4, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Wow, this looks incredibly smooth and rich! What a sweet post.

  4. #
    Daisy posted January 4, 2012 at 9:54 am

    Tita Ine is just about the cutest nanny/aunt/cook ever! loving these action shots of her in the kitchen. One of the best things I ate on vacation (and in keeping with the theme) was chocolate con churros in Madrid!!

    PS Welcome Home!!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted January 4, 2012 at 9:57 am

      Thanks Daisy! I *might* make it to Spain this year (fingers crossed)!

  5. #
    Elizabeth posted January 4, 2012 at 10:13 am

    This is a fabulous post! Her kitchen was practically made for a TV show. The last real vacay I took was Montreal and it is a tie between the almond croissant at Kouign-Amann and peach gazpacho at Laloux.

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted January 4, 2012 at 10:40 am

      Thanks Elizabeth! That’s is my mom’s kitchen – I will tell her that, she will be very flattered! Almond croissant sounds delicious.

  6. #
    Megan posted January 4, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Great pictures! One of the best thigns I’ve eaten on a vacation was a bowl of saimin in Hawaii. It’s such a simple soup but it’s packed with pork and noodles and other things, and it’s so flavorful. It was the best thing and least expensive meal we had on the whole trip.

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted January 4, 2012 at 10:41 am

      Oooh I have never heard of saimin but I think I would like it too!

  7. #
    Jenn @ Frost Bites posted January 4, 2012 at 11:10 am

    I looove tsokolate. That’s exactly how my aunts made it when we would visit my mom’s province (Pampanga) in the summer. I always looked forward to waking up in the morning with tsokolate and pan desal. I would love to have a taste of those again. Sadly, there’s very few (or none at all that are stocked well) Asian (filipino) stores where I live.

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted January 4, 2012 at 11:23 am

      Jenn my dad is from Pampanga too! They have the best sisig!!

  8. #
    Mal @ The Chic Geek posted January 4, 2012 at 11:21 am

    This looks completely wonderful, and so nice to have it made just for you, makes it a little more special!

    One of my favorite vaca dishes is mofungo, we had it in Puerto Rico, and it was just amazing, made with plantains, chicken and such a savory blend of spices.

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted January 4, 2012 at 11:24 am

      Hi Mal, I’ve heard of mofungo but haven’t tried it yet. I know it is also topped with chicharon (pork cracklings) right? Yum!

  9. #
    Amy posted January 4, 2012 at 11:54 am

    I am a huge anglophile and we just went back to London last week, where I had my favorite: Steak & Ale pie w/ chips and of course accompanied with a cider or Guinness in one of the many pubs. Hearty comfort food perfect for gobbling up before walking along the River Thames!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted January 4, 2012 at 5:33 pm

      Hi Amy! I would love to go to London one day and eat some hearty comfort food!

  10. #
    Amy posted January 4, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Just tweeted about the contest!

  11. #
    Heather posted January 4, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Yum, that looks so decadent!

    I was on vacation last week in Colorado and one of the dinners we had was a sausage and onion pizza. Doesn’t sound like anything outrageous, but it was homemade and it was so delicious. I can’t wait to recreate it at home!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted January 4, 2012 at 5:34 pm

      Hi Heather! Sometimes, the simplest things are the most delicious :)

  12. #
    Shannon posted January 4, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    This reminds me of the submarinos I had in Buenos Aires – bars of chocolate that melted into steamed milk. One of my favorite treats from my travels.

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted January 4, 2012 at 12:58 pm

      Ooooh I wanna try those submarinos!

  13. #
    Michelle Collins posted January 4, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    First off, I love this post! Second, the best thing I ate on vacation was pizza in Italy. Lots and lots of pizza. The best I’ve ever had!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted January 4, 2012 at 5:34 pm

      Thanks Michelle :) Pizza in Italy definitely ranks high on my list too!

  14. #
    Rona Roberts posted January 4, 2012 at 1:56 pm


    You (thanks to a tweet from Jun Belen) have solved a taste mystery. During two indescribably amazing years in the Philippines decades ago, one morning stands out. At a small guest house, I got up in the morning to find a tiny cup of liquid chocolate something that has stood in my memory all this time. I asked, and learned that it was a style of Philippine hot chocolate — but all the rest of the time I lived in the country, I had a terrible time finding any chocolate at all. I never knew about tablea, never had tsokolate again, but I did have the good fortune of discovering Taza last summer while on vacation at Salisbury Beach, MA.

    Thank you for this wonderful blog. Thanks to you and Jun, I feel like I can now “live” again in my other home, the Philippines.

    I want to enter your tablea contest, of course! Three vacation food memories: eating at least a bushel of mangoes while on a freight ship going from Manila to Zamboanga in the summer of 1978, devouring a gazillion lanzones while vacationing in Manila from my Peace Corps job in Naga City, and eating fried clams at Ceal’s Clam Stand (“Since 1948”) in Seabrook, NH, every summer since 1983.

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted January 4, 2012 at 5:39 pm

      Hi Rona, thank you so much for dropping by my blog and the sweet words! I’m glad to help bring back so many fond memories of the Philippines for you. Your comment really made my day :) Isn’t it amazing how one little taste of deliciousness can stay in our memory for so long? Mangoes and lanzones are definitely so integral so Filipinos and it is delightful to hear you recount your food memories of them. And those fried clams sound mouth-watering as well!

  15. #
    nicole @ I am a Honey Bee posted January 4, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    I loved everything while I ate in Greece. But randomly, one thing that has stuck with me sooo many years later was that I had guava filled donuts at the Cayman’s

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted January 4, 2012 at 5:40 pm

      Hi Nicole! Ahhh I’d love to make it to Greece one day. And the Cayman Islands too!

  16. #
    Kim K posted January 4, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    best thing i have eaten on vacation – ceviche in cozumel! or anything seafood in australia!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted January 4, 2012 at 5:41 pm

      Reading all these comments on vacation foods is giving me major wanderlust! Australia is on my list!

  17. #
    Elisabeth posted January 4, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    Lovely post! I love the pictures :)

    This is kind of weird but the best food I had was pizza in Italian restaurant while we were in Paris… not macaroons or crepes-but pizza!

  18. #
    Elisabeth posted January 4, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    I now follow you on twitter (@egood33) and tweeted! Thanks!

  19. #
    Hannah posted January 4, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    I’ve eaten too many “best things”! But I do adore, adore, love and worship the Mont Blancs I’ve had overseas :)

  20. #
    Emily @ A Cambridge Story posted January 4, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    This looks way better than Swiss Miss :) Feel free to host a Filippino cooking class any time! My favorite vacation “food” is usually whatever libation the city/country/region serves!

  21. #
    Chiara posted January 5, 2012 at 7:03 am

    Love this post! Certainly reminded me of the hot, piping churros from Dulcinea at the Galleria across from school. Delicious stuff.

    Favorite things I’ve eaten while on vacation are:
    a. White Chocolate Bread Pudding from Palace Cafe in New Orleans
    b. Stracciatella Gelato from the island of Capri
    c. Fried saimin from Island Style in Las Vegas
    d. Lemon butter shrimp from Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck in North Shore
    e. Garlic noodles from PPQ Dungeness Crab in San Francisco
    f. Haupia malasadas from Leonard’s in Oahu

    I’m sorry, that’s such a long list! Okay, gonna cap it now. :o)

  22. #
    Chiara posted January 5, 2012 at 7:07 am

    Just tweeted!

  23. #
    Robby G. posted January 5, 2012 at 10:02 am

    This is officially my favorite post on here. And yes I tweeted about it =) I wonder how it tastes in comparison to the mexican hot chocolate Julie makes.

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted January 5, 2012 at 11:13 am

      Aww thanks Robby! The main difference between this and Mexican hot chocolate is that the Mexican versions usually contain cinnamon and/or chili :) But the texture is very similar!

  24. #
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet posted January 5, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    I love this post!

    When I was in Italy everything was amazing, but the best dish I had was a fresh pasta dish with shellfish and wine sauce… everything was so perfect!

  25. #
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet posted January 5, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    I follow you on Twitter:-)

  26. #
    Alyssa L posted January 5, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    Gelato in Italy. LOVE!

  27. #
    Alaina posted January 5, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    Oh man, this looks so good and so rich! Just how hot chocolate should be. :-)

    The best thing I had on vacation was tapas in Madrid. I loved walking around to different restaurants and having vino with some tapa. The best ever!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted January 6, 2012 at 11:38 am

      Ahhh I really want to go to Spain soon!

  28. #
    Melanie @ Melanie Cooks posted January 5, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    I love the name “Tsokolate” :) Looks like I’d never want to drink the powdered versions after tasting this real hot chocolate!

  29. #
    Baking Serendipity posted January 5, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    I have never seen this before! It sounds delicious though and I love the family tutorial :)

  30. #
    Claudia posted January 6, 2012 at 9:55 am

    This reminds me of Mexican hot chocolate which also starts with the actual chocolate (best idea ever). I love all the whisking – I can tell myself I am getting a workout before I drink down wonderful chocolate! Gorgeous photos!

  31. #
    Lisa posted January 6, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    All that chocolate – all that whisking , this is how hot chocolate should always be made! Love the whole post..watching every sep! As for my fav food on a vacation, that is so hard since there’s been so many, so I’ll keep it close to home. Vacation from work, must have had at least 4 Momofuku pork buns in one week ;) Following you on Twitter!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted January 9, 2012 at 2:59 pm

      Those Momofuku pork buns are killer! I also like their duck buns :)

  32. #
    Shannon posted January 6, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    how cool! definitely a labor of love :) one of the best things I ate this past vacation was the bruschetta I just posted about!

  33. #
    Reeni posted January 6, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    This is such a sweet post! I discovered Mexican hot chocolate a few years ago and LOVE it! I imagine this is even better, especially with all that whisking to infuse love. The best thing I ever ate on vacation was fried ice cream.

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted January 9, 2012 at 2:59 pm

      Thanks Reeni. Fried ice cream sounds pretty awesome!

  34. #
    Erica posted January 8, 2012 at 3:24 am

    Sounds so divine!!! My favorite thing ive eaten on vacation is fresh, tropical fruit

  35. #
    Nadiya posted January 8, 2012 at 9:19 am

    Love the post! Best thing i ate on vacation was probably my grandma’s homemade sweet cheese/ cherry/ potato/ fried cabbage perogies! Delicious with sour creme

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted January 9, 2012 at 3:00 pm

      Hi Nadiya, your grandma’s perogies sound delicious! And I love anything with sour cream.

  36. #
    Lindsay @ biking before bed posted January 8, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    The best thing I ate on Christmas vacation was locally made Sunbutter and jueely ice cream.

  37. #
    Molly Galler posted January 9, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Bianca, I absolutely love this post! So cute that your Tita Ine modeled for all the photos! This sounds super delicious! I’m not a huge coffee person, so hot chocolate is always my go-to winter beverage.

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted January 9, 2012 at 3:02 pm

      Thanks Molly! Hot chocolate over coffee, anytime, any day, always!

  38. #
    sofia posted January 9, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    aw, what a sweet post! love the pics of tita ine! my best vacation eat was probably a warm bowl of chili at nice ski resort-side restaurant. the cold air outside made the chili even tastier than it actually was, i’m sure :)

  39. #
    Joan posted January 13, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    I think I got in under the wire, Bianca! ;) So many from which to choose! For an entree, I’ll go with the Carne Adovada at Sadie’s in Albuquerque, NM…for a non-chocolate sweet treat, it’s the beignets at the Cafe du Monde in New Orleans, hands down! :)

  40. #
    Danielle posted February 14, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    Breakfast in bed at the Mirage in Las Vegas. The butter was in the shape of little roses and everything was so delicious.

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted February 14, 2012 at 7:03 pm

      That sounds like such a delightful meal :)

  41. #
    Kristen | Pixelated Crumb posted February 17, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    Oh my goodness. I’m going to have to ask my mother-in-law about this and have her bring back some tablea on her next trip! This sounds amazing!

  42. #
    Kat Dy posted July 10, 2012 at 7:43 am


    I was googling how to make tablea chocolate and I saw your blog post. Love it! With matching photos of the yaya pa hehe. I’m printing this and will have our helper make one for me!

    Yummy blog!


    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted July 10, 2012 at 11:56 am

      Hi Kat! Awww thank you! Hope all is fab! xo

  43. #
    Jona posted January 8, 2013 at 6:17 am

    I miss you tita ine!

  44. #
    Judy G posted January 9, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    Went on a cruise & requested for Crispy Pata! Best vacay ever! :)

  45. #
    Judy G posted January 9, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    Just tweeted! :)

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted January 9, 2013 at 9:40 pm

      Hi, Judy! Thanks for the comments. This giveaway is actually over – it was from last year. Sorry… But I am hosting another giveaway in a few days, so check back this weekend :)

  46. #
    Judy G posted January 10, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    Wasn’t paying attention with the date. Hahaha! I was just drooling all over!

  47. #
    Jed B. posted February 10, 2013 at 12:14 am

    Served this today when my friends came over after a crazy overnight winterstorm yesterday here in Toronto.. Everybody loved it! Thanks b! :)

  48. #
    karla posted January 21, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    Thanks for this!
    I live in London now and my grandma’s batidor and metal jug are some of my post prized possessions. Haven’t used it though and will now : ) Thanks for posting this. Lovely pics.


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