Andreas’ Mayan Hot Cocoa



Cocoa was used by the Aztec and Mayan as a sacred drink.  Xocolatl, or chocolatl, was brewed with various spices and drank unsweetened as part of ceremonies.


This is Mexican-style hot chocolate, as you saw in the movie Chocolat. After I saw the movie, I experimented for several weeks and came up with this recipe.  It uses pure cocoa and several spices, including chile peppers.  The flavor is very rich and aromatic, like a dark perfume.  It's also unsweetened.  If you prefer it sweeter; just add more sugar.


                1   quart                   milk

             1/2   cup                      cocoa

                                                   (use Peets, Scharffenberger, Valhrona,

                                                   Starbucks, or similar.)

                1   teaspoon             unbleached flour

          1 1/2   teaspoons           vanilla

             1/4   cup                      dark brown sugar

                2   teaspoons           powered sugar

                1   stick                    cinnamon, crumbled

             1/4   teaspoon             freshy grated nutmeg

                3                              cloves, crushed

             1/4   teaspoon             Mexican chile pepper, ground

                2   Tablespoons       corn starch (optional)

                4   sticks                  cinnamon (optional)

                                                small marshmallows (optional)

                                                heavy whipping cream (optional)

1.   Heat 4 cups of milk in a double-boiler at medium-low.  (If you don't have a double boiler, then put a small pot inside a larger pot.  If you don't have two pots, then stir it constantly.)

2.   While the milk is warming up, put the cloves on your cutting board and crush them with the flat of your kitchen knife.

3.   Loosely crumble 1 cinnamon stick.

4.   In a medium bowl, sift together the cocoa and unbleached flour.

6.   Slowly add some of the warm milk to the cocoa/flour mixture, stirring constantly, until it turns into a paste.  (If you add milk too fast, you get clumpy cocoa. If that happens, use a hand blender to smoothen it.)

7.   When all the cocoa and flour are a paste (no more dry flour), add the dark brown sugar, nutmeg, crushed cloves, powdered chile, and crumbled cinnamon.

8.   Add the cocoa/flour/spices mix to the remaining hot milk in the double-boiler.  Stir constantly to keep it from burning. If you want it thicker, add as much of the corn starch as you like.

9.   When the cocoa is ready (it takes about fifteen minutes until it's nice and hot), use a slotted spoon to scoop the cloves and cinnamon off the top.

10. Add the powered sugar and the vanilla. (If you want it sweeter, add more powdered sugar.)

11. Serve in heavy mugs.

If you like, you can put whipped cream on top, add small marshmallows, or add a stick of cinnamon to each mug for stirring.


Makes four mugs of hot cocoa.



      Source:  Andreas Ramos