Mayan Hot Cocoa

"Inspired by the movie, "Chocolat"! Cocoa was used by the Aztec and Mayan as a sacred drink. It was brewed 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, like a dark perfume. Experiment with the sweetness to your liking."
photo by Sandi From CA photo by Sandi From CA
photo by Sandi From CA
photo by Sandi From CA photo by Sandi From CA
photo by Sandi From CA photo by Sandi From CA
Ready In:
4 1-cup mugs of cocoa




  • Sift the cocoa powder and flour.
  • Measure out 4 cups of milk. From the 4 cups of milk, slowly whisk about 1/4 cup of it, a little more if necessary, into the cocoa/flour mix until it becomes a paste. If you add milk too fast, you get clumpy cocoa. If that happens, use a hand blender to smooth it out.
  • When all the cocoa and flour are a paste (no more dry flour,) add the remaining spices (sugar, nutmeg, cloves, peppers, and cinnamon).
  • Heat the rest of the 4 cups of milk in a double-boiler or a saucepan over medium.
  • Add the cocoa/flour/spices mix to the hot milk in the double-boiler. Stir constantly to keep it from burning.
  • If you prefer a slightly thicker drink, you can add the optional cornstarch/water mixture now. Continue stirring on the heat until it's to your desired thickness. Not too long; you don't want to be forced to use a knife and fork. ;D.
  • When the cocoa is ready (it takes about 10-15 minutes until the flavor and heat level are *just right*), strain the cocoa in a fine sieve to remove the cloves and cinnamon pieces. (Careful, it could splatter - I found out last night. *grrr*) Then add the powdered sugar and vanilla and stir.
  • If you like, you can put whipped cream on top, add small marshmallows, or add a stick of cinnamon for stirring.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Oh yeah - this is great stuff! I don't like my cocoa too thick so I didn't use the optional cornstarch. I used crushed red pepper flakes and it made for a great combination of sweet and spice that was perfect with the rich chocolate. Thanks for posting this recipe! Made for the Comfort Cafe Event, January 2010
  2. I have making this recipe for a long time and it's my evening "fix". It's the perfect balance of chocolate, spice, heat, and sweet. I use less sugar and usually use Splenda. The cloves are a definitive must. Thanks for posting!
  3. Welllll, I'm giving this four stars instead of five, but I think the fault might be my own. I took chili pepper to mean cayenne pepper, but drinking it like this makes me think that i should have used a chunk of actual dried chili pepper. The cayenne overwhelms quite a bit. Still tasty, just overwhelming. Here's to hoping my years of spicy food eating have fortified me against the sort of heartburn that comes with drinking 1/16 tsp cayenne pepper! I will definitely make and review this again with a different form of pepper.
  4. AMAZING!!! The town where I live used to have a Tea House (it has since closed down) and the lady that owned it would make a Mayan Spiced Cocoa by special request.........but the recipe was a "secret". I played around but nothing tasted quite like the one she made although I did come close a few times. This recipe is the one. The little bit of time it takes to make is worth it......I absolutely love the combination of chocolate, spices, and the mild heat from the chili's. It's amazing with whipped cream. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! I



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