So you may think that hot chocolate in the summer is a bit of a contradiction, but here in Lima it seems to be the done thing around the Christmas period. A slice of paneton (panettone) and a mug of hot chocolate is served at literally every family gathering. No one seems to care that it’s like 28 degrees outside.
The main problem is that not all hot chocolates are created equally and some people just seem to love using evaporated milk in their hot chocolate, which is vile. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know that I despise evaporated milk, especially when used when it shouldn’t be (I’m also looking at you condensed milk….). Why would you ruin delicious hot chocolate with gross milk? Why?
It’s okay though, because I bit the bullet and tried a bunch of hot chocolates this winter and last Christmas too, to give you a few options depending on your taste! There’s even a lactose free option in here. So keep on scrolling if you want to find seven different places to get a delicious hot chocolate in Lima this Christmas.
THE LUX OPTION
In my opinion, the best hot chocolate is just melted chocolate in full fat milk (with flavourings if you fancy it obvs), however even more lux than that is using cream. Oh yes people, the hot chocolate from Ana Avellana is a bit of a DIY, but it involves a big dollop of ganache (chocolate and cream). You get a bigger-than-golf-ball sized sphere of ganache and a mug of milk and you mix the two together; it’s pretty magical. I don’t love milk, so I made my boyfriend drink a bit before a swirled in my ganache so that I would have a higher ratio of chocolate to milk and it was delightful!
Drink with: This is my favourite bakery in Lima, so a massive slice of blueberry cake for a contrast or a slice of Zambito (chocolate cake topped with nutella and meringue) for pure chocolate overload.
THE LACTOSE FREE OPTION
It seems logical that the Choco Museo would make a good hot chocolate. They actually have a few options; one with cinnamon and cloves, one with chilli, and then the submarine. The latter is very similar to the Ana Avellana version whereby you have a mug of milk and a block of solid chocolate (house made white, milk or dark chocolate) and you submerge the chocolate ‘submarine’ under the hot milk. The difference with this one is that you can request lactose free milk for no extra charge. Exciting times for all you lactose intolerant peeps, you are catered for here!
Drink with: The Choco Museo is full of chocolate, so maybe a slice of their fabulous chocolate cake! Extra indulgent.
THE EUROPEAN OPTION
San Antonio‘s ‘Chocolate Caliente a la Española’ was the first amazing hot chocolate that I found, and the closest to the European style that has come onto my radar. By European style, I mean thick melty chocolate that feels like you are literally only drinking chocolate and nothing more. It reminds me of skiing in Italy and drinking this when you come down from the slopes. The chocolate is 64% cocoa and Peruvian (of course), but the name (Española) reflects perfectly the location of its inspiration.
Drink with: A croissant, in true European style (filled with chicken and avocado for a Peruvian twist).
THE LARGE DARK OPTION
Puku Puku have a few branches now in Lima, 2 of which are in Miraflores, and I like to go to the little one on Narciso de la Colina. The first time I tried their chocolate was in a frappucino type drink and I loved how real it tasted; like actual dark chocolate, not a flavoured syrup. Their hot chocolate is just the same. Super dark, and you know you’re drinking proper chocolate. If you’re not a fan of the sweeter kind of hot chocolate then this is for you! The name of the cafe, Puku Puku, is the Quechua word for a bird that sings in the morning, and I love that they reference that with the little bird prints on the cups here. Super cute!
Drink with: Their chocolate brownie. Small and fudgy but actually the sweetness works well with the dark hot chocolate.
El Pan de la Chola
THE SMALL DARK OPTION
You know I love a trip to El Pan de la Chola, but my last visit was the first time I had tried their hot chocolate. It’s small in size but powerful in flavour. It’s creamy but you can really taste the dark chocolate. For me, it has that raisin-y taste that I find with some of the dark chocolate from Peru and I love it.
Drink with: One of their croissants for breakfast, a hot focaccia sandwich for lunch, or some lemon drizzle or a cookie for afternoon tea.
THE SWEET TREAT OPTION
Yes, I am aware this is not a hot chocolate, but it is in fact Miss Cupcakes‘ Hot Chocolate cupcake. It’s just one of the many they have on rotation to accompany their real hot chocolate! There is a regular hot chocolate or a Nutella one, if you think you can handle it. They are sweet, thick and delicious and the perfect afternoon treat.
Drink with: A cupcake of course! I would choose the paneton (panettone) cupcake as a perfect accompaniment because that is the traditional accompaniment here in Peru.
THE ‘LIGHT’ OPTION
I say ‘light’ not because Sarcletti‘s chocolate is low in calories or anything, but just because it feels quite light when you drink it. It’s not a heavy thick hot chocolate, it’s not overly sweet nor dark, it’s just an easy-drinking hot chocolate that will go with just about everything. It’s made with whole milk and proper chocolate (not powder – I asked), but it’s not overpowering in milky flavour and the chocolate taste is very much apparent. I really enjoyed it when I had it for breakfast last week and I think it’s a winner for the whole family.
Drink with: The biscuit on the side! Also, the fruit salad here is great as a breakfast option and a nice fruity contrast, or if you prefer something more carb-y then the toasted chicken and avocado sandwich is yum and a nice partner for an afternoon snack.