Mayan Hot Chocolate

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

4 cloves

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 🙂

Fresh Mint Hot Chocolate

17th june 2012

Seriously you don’t need to buy hot chocolate mixes that are expensive, full of dairy and more highly processed sugars than you need. By using a small amount of fresh herbs or fruit skins, some pure cocoa and your favourite plant based milk you can achieve the most incredible and fragrant results.

So next time friends drop over instead of just boiling the kettle and grabbing a can from the pantry go old school and heat some milk on the stove loaded with fresh mint and pour your work into a beautiful tea cup or mug. There is way more soul in that my friends.



1 cup of plant based milk (I used Australian’s Own Organic rice milk because I wanted quite a sweet flavour which rice milk offers)

½ – ¾ cup of fresh mint, well washed so you don’t suffer gritty bits

½ tablespoon of pure maple syrup (or agave)

1 tablespoon of cocoa (I use Dutch cocoa which is super rich so I didn’t need any more than this)



Place all the ingredients into a small pot and very slowly and gently bring the milk to the boil. You want to allow the mint time to infuse into the milk.

Remove the mint. Whisk to ensure there are no cocoa lumps and that the maple syrup is mixed through well


I plonked a load more fresh mint into my cup when I served mine up today. 🙂


Serves: 1

Time: Took me less than 10 minutes

Freeze: N/A

Orange & Almond Hot Chocolate

It was overcast outside today and I was feeling rather glum and felt like chocolate. I love the combination of orange and chocolate too, so this is something I have had on my mind to try out for a while and it seemed like the perfect day to give it a go.

Whenever you have a recipe idea that you have never made before you worry it’s not going to work or live up to the picture you have in your head. I was worried the orange was not going to be strong enough or way too strong but it worked out PERFECTLY and with next to no effort and no need to do a few trial runs. The result was just as I had hoped… rich, sweet, generously scented with orange and really decadent tasting.

This will now be a family treat in our house on a cold day or when someone feels down and needs that warming feel of homemade hot chocolate.



1 cup of almond milk (found pretty much everywhere these day. I buy Australia’s Own organic almond milk or make your own. See my Almond Milk Recipe)

1 large orange

1 tablespoon of pure cocoa

1/2 to 3/4 of a tablespoon of pure maple syrup or agave (if you dont’ have maple syrup or agave just use sugar)



Slice the rind from the orange then very carefully remove all the white pith from the rind.

Put the almond milk in a small pot with the orange rind and **slowly** bring to the boil. This is important because you want to give the oils in the orange peel time to impart their flavour into the milk.

Add the drinking chocolate and the agave and whisk till combined. Turn off the heat. Remove the orange rind.

Pour into your favourite mug and serve.


Servings: Serves 1.

Time: Took me less than 10 minutes to make.

Freezing: Not suitable