Cocoa, it is said that was discovered by Mayans (Southern Mexico) who used it in the form of a drink.They blended it with raw chillies and water and concocted a base for what is known today as 'Hot Chocolate' or Hot cocoa.The chocolate as itself was discovered later from using cocoa.Though hot chocolate was perceived first as a luxury drink,it is found that chocolate has health benefits as well as it is high in anti oxidants.
Well, the drink made by Mayans using cocoa underwent several changes when chocolate was discovered, thus rather than going for cocoa powder we can add shaved chocolate which was already sweeter in nature.Well do check out the difference between hot cocoa and hot chocolate here .It is said that chocolate with 70% cocoa is healthier than others.As for me,I wanted to see how the Mayans made it and found several versions for spiced chocolate some using fresh chillies,some using Mexican chocolate etc.I have adapted this version from Andreas.com where cocoa powder is used along with dried chile pepper and other spices and the result was a comforting spiced cocoa with the heat from chile.
Milk: 2 cups or mugs
Cocoa powder (unsweetened): 3-4 tbsp
All Purpose Flour: 1/2 tsp
Brown Sugar: 2 tbsp +
Cinnamon stick : crushed into small pieces
Cloves : crushed
Fresh grated Nutmeg
Dried Chilli pepper : I used dried chipotles though normal dried red chillies can be used.Even fresh jalapeno can be used as I have seen in some sites.: powdered or finely chopped.
Powdered Sugar: 1-2 tsp
In a double boil, warm the milk on medium heat.In a small bowl,mix flour and cocoa.When the milk starts warming, add spoonfuls of milk to the flour mix and mix into a paste.This should be done gently else it may leave lumps.So mix after each spoonful and keep on adding milk till you get a smooth paste.
While the milk is warming crush/crumble the spices and powder the chillies.These can be powdered together or I simply crushed them a little and chopped the chillies.
Once you get the paste add the brown sugar,crumbled spices and dried chilli to this mix.Then add the spiced paste to the rest of the milk in the double boiler and mix well.Let it cook on medium or low heat till the cocoa gets cooked,the sugar dissolves and the drink slightly starts to thicken or until your consisency is reached.This may take 10-15 minutes and if still liquidy then you can add cornstarch for thickening.I did not.
With a slotted spoon remove the spices that float on the top of the drink and serve warm in mugs, adding vanilla and powdered sugar.Vanilla enhances the taste.
The taste was perfect for me.The chillies add heat and the sharp taste of cocoa is matched with the heat of the chillies and the flavours from the spices.The hot cocoa being made of chilli pepper is going to warm the Weekend Wokking :Chili pepper hosted this time by the creator herself,Wandering Chopsticks
Want a chocolatey version, see Spicy Hot Chocolate Drink by Lubna
an Alcoholic version : Spirited Hot Chocolate
or be patient another chocolatey drink is coming soon.
So warm the wintery evenings with delicious Mayan style Hot Cocoa.