• 1 litre of whole milk (about 4 cups)

    200 grams of dark chocolate (roughly equivalent to 7 ounces)

    2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder

    1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

    1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg

    1 pinch of Chilli pepper (optional for heat)

    50 grams of sugar (roughly 4 tablespoons)

    A small piece of Queso Fresco or other mild cheese (optional)

South American hot chocolate is a lighter, spiced version of hot chocolate. In many South American countries, the hot chocolate tradition remains close to its Mayan and Aztec roots. The drink is often flavoured with local spices such as chilli, cinnamon, and nutmeg, lending a unique depth and warmth to the chocolate. It is often served with a piece of cheese dropped in at the end, a tradition that surprises and delights in equal measure.


    1. Pour the milk into a medium-sized saucepan and heat it over medium heat until it's warm but not boiling.
    2. Meanwhile, chop the dark chocolate into small pieces to help it melt faster and more evenly.
    3. Once the milk is warm, whisk in the cocoa powder, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a pinch of cayenne pepper (if using) until well combined.
    4. Add the chopped dark chocolate to the milk mixture. Stir frequently until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth.
    5. Continue to simmer gently for a few minutes, allowing the flavors to blend together. Be sure to stir regularly to avoid burning the chocolate at the bottom of the pan.
    6. After the hot chocolate has reached your desired thickness, reduce the heat to low.
    7. At this point, if you wish to follow the South American tradition, add a small piece of Queso Fresco or another mild cheese to your cup before pouring the hot chocolate. The cheese will soften and create a delightful, creamy surprise as you enjoy the drink.
    8. Serve your South American hot chocolate warm, savouring the unique blend of flavours.

    Remember, this recipe is versatile, so you can adjust the amounts of spices and sweetness to match your preference. Enjoy the warmth and comfort of this rich and spicy hot chocolate!

South American Hot Chocolate


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