Hot chocolate cups
MCC photo/Rebecca Shetler Fast

Chokola Ayisyen, Haitian spiced hot chocolate with coconut. 

Rebecca Shetler Fast is an MCC representative for Haiti together with her husband Paul Shetler Fast.

Chokola Ayisyen, Haitian spiced hot chocolate with coconut, is a spicy, thick and comforting drink. In Haiti, Chokola Ayisyen is served for breakfast and also as a sweet, liquid reassurance during troubling times. In this season of post-hurricane hardship for many in Haiti, we make and share Chokola Ayisyen in warm solidarity with our Haitian sisters and brothers. Join us.

Download a printable PDF of this recipe.

Yield: 8 1/2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 lime rind
  • 1 cup dark cocoa powder or 1 bar unsweetened chocolate or 1 Haitian raw chocolate ball
  • 3 cinnamon sticks, or ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 star anise or 1/4 teaspoon star anise
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4 cups coconut milk
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • Whipped cream for topping, optional

Steps:

  1. In a large pot, over medium heat, heat the water, chocolate, lime, cinnamon, star anise and allspice. Whisk until all the chocolate is dissolved. Note: If you are using a Haitian chocolate ball, this will take approximately 15 minutes.
  2. Once the chocolate is dissolved, add the brown sugar, coconut milk, milk and salt; bring the mixture to a boil.
  3. Remove the hot chocolate from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
  4. Strain the hot chocolate mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove the spices.
  5. Serve piping hot.

Notes:

Haitian hot chocolate is traditionally made with unrefined Haitian cocoa, called chokola peyi. This chocolate is hard to find outside of Haiti, so we recommend using a bittersweet chocolate, either in powder or bar form to substitute.

Some Haitian cooks prefer to use evaporated milk and forgo the sugar. We prefer brown sugar, but do fiddle around to adjust the flavors of this this recipe to your preference.

Download a printable PDF of this recipe.

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