It is no coincidence that National Hot Chocolate day falls in January. For those of us in the north, a warm cup of something delicious just might be the thing that brightens a dreary winter day. Sure, you could rip open a packet of cocoa powder, pour some hot water over it and call it a day. But once you’ve tried Peruvian Hot Chocolate, you’ll never go back.
What makes this Peruvian hot chocolate so delicious? First, it tends to be thicker and creamier and is traditionally spiced with cinnamon and cloves. Second, this recipe came from Yadira Salas, the Commercial Coordinator for Allpa, one of our artisan partners in Peru! This recipe is part of Allpa’s holiday traditions, even though it’s the middle of summer in Peru. So, wherever you are today, I hope you’ll enjoy a delicious cup of Peruvian Hot Chocolate.
Authentic Peruvian Hot Chocolate
3 cups whole milk
3.2 oz of fair trade chocolate (best if it is 100% cacao), chopped
2″ cinnamon stick or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon whole cloves or 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
4 cups of water
Sugar (to taste)
Heat water, cinnamon, and cloves in a small pot until boiling.
While still boiling, add the tablets of chocolate until completely melted.
Reduce to simmer and stir in milk, add sugar to taste.
Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Optional (and totally recommended): while simmering add a few pieces of orange peel
If you want an even thicker and creamier drink, stir in a 1/2 to a full cup of evaporated milk.
Part of what I find so lovely about this recipe is that it requires me to be attentive, and in the moment (lest I let the pot boil over, let’s be honest). Creating this recipe not only results in a delicious cup of hot chocolate, but it turns what could be an ordinary moment into a joyful ritual. It’s a tip I took from our Hygge How-To blog in hopes of discovering more moments of contentment this year.
I hope you find a moment to wrap your hands around a hot cup of cocoa or to simply turn an ordinary task into a little something special.
Learn more about Allpa, named for a Quechua Indian word that means “earth.” They’ve partnered with Ten Thousand Villages since 1988. The Peruvian craft trading company improves the lives of artisans through training, technical assistance, and financial aid.