A Tool for Extra-Frothy Hot Chocolate: The Molinillo

When I was at the Fancy Foods show last spring I stopped by a little booth in the back that was enveloped in the most wonderful aroma of chocolate. I stopped and watched a woman froth up a short pot of fresh hot chocolate with a long, elaborately carved wooden tool — a molinillo.

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A molinillo is a traditional Mexican tool used to froth hot chocolate or milky coffee. These from the show are handcarved and distributed by a company called Hernán, who also distributes a really lovely Mexican chocolate called Kekua — some of it with cinnamon included.

These tools are a lot of fun; yes, you can use a whisk or a French press to get a similar effect, but the molinillo is so beautiful that it's worth having for its decorative properties alone.

Find it: Mexican Molinillo, $14 at Dean and Deluca

Want to try some Mexican hot chocolate? Here's a good recipe:

Get the recipe: Mexican Hot Chocolate

Related: How to Make Milk Foam (Without a Frother or a Machine!)

(Images: Faith Durand; Dean and Deluca)