Cocoa was a sacred thing to the Mayan people. They created a savoury drink with it where the added spices were dominant and it was used in religious ceremonies. Over time this tradition was exported to Europe where it was altered and sweetened. This sweetened version is the one we now mostly see. Ingredients such as cayenne, chilli and ground almonds are also used
Recipes I have seen from more recent times contain cream, dairy and honey as is so often the case. But with very simple changes I have created my plant based version of a modern day Mayan hot chocolate.
2 red chilli bullets, sliced lengthways and seeds removed
2 cups of water
4 cups of plant based milk. (I usee Bonsoy soy milk for this because it’s so creamy)
2 vanilla beans, sliced lengthways
½ cup of pure maple syrup
2 cinnamon quills
½ cup sugar free cocoa (I use Dutch cocoa)
grated nutmeg to taste
Place the chillies and 2 cups of water into a small pot. Bring them to the boil then turn the heat down to a gentle simmer until the water reduces to one cup in volume.
While your chilli water is reducing, place the milk into a large pot, scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the milk and add the rest of the vanilla beans. Add the cloves, maple syrup, cinnamon, cocoa and nutmeg and very slowly bring it to the boil. Once it comes to the boil turn the heat down and gently simmer the ingredients for a few minutes to give the flavours all time to infuse. Then set aside.
Once the chilli water has reduced down to one cup, discard the chillies and add the chilli water to your milk mixture. I like to add all of it but add it slowly and to your own taste.
Bring the hot chocolate back to the boil now and turn off the heat. Strain the milk now if you wish and discard the cloves, vanilla bean and cinnamon but I prefer to serve mine with them still a part of the hot chocolate.
Garnish with some nutmeg and serve.
I haven’t timed this one but it serves 4, will make you happy and will fill your home with warm aromatic scents 🙂