Make it at Home: Mayan Hot Cocoa

At Now Jade & Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun we are in the warm Caribbean sunshine but we know many of our readers are in colder climates all bundled up. Stay warm with a Mexican-style hot chocolate recipe during the holidays this winter!

Cocoa was used by the Mayan as a sacred drink. Chocolate was infused with various spices and drank unsweetened as part of ceremonies. This recipe uses pure cocoa and several spices, including chili peppers. The flavor is very rich and aromatic plus you can sweeten it up as much as you’d like by added sugar.

Ingredients (makes four servings)

  • 4 cups of milk
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp unbleached flour
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • 3 crushed cloves
  • ¼ tsp chili peppers (crushed)
  • 1 cinnamon stick (loosely crumbled)
  • 2 tsp powdered sugar (add more if you want it sweeter)
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract  

Heat the milk in a sauce pan whisking it constantly. While the milk is warming up, sift the cocoa powder and flour. Add a bit of milk and stir the cocoa/flour mix until it becomes a paste. Slowly add milk and continue to stir. If you add milk too fast, it will be clumpy. If that happens, use a hand blender to smooth it. Finally, when all the cocoa and flour are a paste (no more dry flour) add the remaining spices.

Add the cocoa/flour/spices mix to the hot milk in the sauce pan. Stir constantly to keep it from burning. If you want it thicker, add some corn starch. Add as much corn starch as you’d like. It takes only fifteen minutes until it’s nice and hot then use a slotted spoon to scoop the cloves and cinnamon off the top.

Serve in large mugs. If you like, you can put whipped cream on top and serve it with a cinnamon stick as shown in the photo.