Saturday, 18 September 2010

Cuzinhia Cristang: Soldadu Chocolat

I finally got my copy of Cuzinhia Cristang: A Malacca-Portuguese Cookbook by Celine J. Marbeck after hunting it down for almost 6 months. I bought the second-last copy from MPH in Mid Valley just a couple of days ago.

It’s a beautiful book. What I most cherish about it is that you get a history lesson about the Cristang people before going on to the recipes. A lot of thought and effort has been made to help you understand the reason behind the cuisine and its evolution over time. I personally, have come to appreciate the Cristang people, their unique culture and wonderful cuisine even more now.

I will be cooking my way through this book, slowly but surely. So do lend me your support (Mark… do you hear me?) in hope that I will eventually become an adept Cristang-wannabe cook. J

What did I try from the book so far? The Soldadu Chocolat. I didn’t follow the recipe to a ‘t’. I didn’t have rum, couldn’t be bothered to measure out the ingredients and thought I was very clever by not making a cup of coffee before pouring it into the chocolate. I simply put a spoonful of instant coffee granules into the chocolate. I also didn’t have almonds, so I had mine with some salted cashews on the side.

The result? A knock-your-socks-off dessert in a cup. Totally yum and perfect after a spicy, heavy dinner. (Yes, it would have been doubly-excellent with some rum!)

Milk chocolate
Chocolate and milk
Coffee, coffee, coffee
Coming to a boil

Soldadu Chocolat
Adapted from Cuzinhia Cristang: A Malacca-Portuguese Cookbook by Celine J. Marbeck

Milk chocolate
Full-cream milk
Instant coffee granules
A pinch or two of light brown sugar
  1. Put the chocolate into a small heavy-based saucepan.
  2. Pour in just enough milk.
  3. Put the saucepan on the stove over low heat.
  4. Let the chocolate melt and stir to mix it together with the milk.
  5. Once you get chocolate milk, stir in the coffee and sugar.
  6. Stir to dissolve.
  7. When the mixture just comes to a boil, remove from the stove.
  8. Pour into a tea cup and serve immediately with some salted cashews.
Note: It is a good idea to make a cup of hot, strong coffee first to pour into the chocolate milk in Step 5. I didn't and what I got was a really 'kow' drink that made my eyes pop open in surprise from the rich flavour. 


  1. I love books like this. Good food rooted in history and stories of families. The only South Indian version I have seen is 'Dakshin: Vegetarian cuisine from South India' by Chandra Padmanabhan. Angus & Robertson published it in Australia in 1994. Maybe time for a modern-day version, with recipes like your mum's shark one and the home made chicken soup. (Hint!)

  2. Thanks for leaving a comment! Don't know about modern Indian cooking, but you'll be happy to know that I am compiling some family recipes for posterity. I also have an Ultimate Butter Cake baking in the oven right now. Thought you might need to have a look at some decadent pictures to help encourage you to make it yourself. :-)


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