The Mayans and Aztecs are famous for inventing Hot Chocolate or Xocolatl as it was called in ancient Aztec (guess where it got it’s name?) They made it by grinding up beans from the Cocoa plant, mixing it with water and spices, then whisking it until it became frothy. It did not have sugar in it, might have been served cold, and was probably very bitter indeed.
Montezuma, the famous Aztec ruler was said to have enjoyed it very much, drinking up to 50 glasses a day! When the Spanish Conquistadors arrived in Mexico they tried this new drink, but found it far too bitter and started adding sugar.
The Aztecs are thought to have added many different spices to the chocolate including chilli peppers, vanilla, cinnamon and anise. Our version uses some of these, but you can adapt the recipe if you like.
Don’t even think of making this hot chocolate if you are a poor commoner; the cocoa bean was very precious and only nobles were allowed to drink it!
50g dark chocolate
300mls boiling water
few drops vanilla extract
small pinch of cinnamon
small pinch of cayenne pepper
Break the chocolate into squares in a heatproof jug or bowl. Pour in the boiling water, or ask an adult to help. Add the other ingredients and mix it until the chocolate has dissolved. Pour it carefully into mugs. If it is too bitter, you could add a splash of milk.
Enjoy! Drink your Xocolatl while watching an Aztec ball game, or planning your next sacrifice.
What do you think? Tasty or not as good as Cadbury’s?