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Indulgent Maltese Festive Hot Chocolate - An Early Christmas Treat!

Posted by Lorraine on 6th Dec 2018

If you enjoy a hot chocolate to warm you up on a cold day then you absolutely have to give this Maltese Festive Hot Chocolate recipe a try. The mixed spice combined with the citrus fruits and chocolate creates the most amazing scent throughout the house, a perfect drink for all the family to enjoy around the Christmas tree this festive season.

I love drinks infused with spice and fruit and after researching for new inspiration I came across a Maltese recipe called Oastan tal-imbuljuta. It just so happens that I have a friend from Maltese origin and she very kindly shared the family recipe with me. I have tweaked it ever so slightly but only to suit my taste buds! 

Oastan tal-imbuljuta or Maltese Festive Hot Chocolate as I have named it (only because I was struggling to pronounce it to my work friends!!) is a winter favourite in Malta and I can see why. 

Chocolate lovers, go and grab your aprons and get making a batch! It will most definitely stop any chocolate cravings with one spoonful! It's rich, it's indulgent and it's oh, so Christmassy! 

Maltese Festive Hot Chocolate / Oastan tal-imbuljuta Recipe.

Preparation time: 5 minutes (plus overnight soaking of chestnuts)

Cooking time: Approx 1 hour

Serves; 12


  • 400g Dried chestnuts
  • Rind of 1 tangerine
  • Rind of 1 large orange
  • Rind of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tsp mixed spice
  • 8 Cloves
  • 100g Cocoa powder
  • 200g Soft brown sugar
  • 1500ml Water


1. Peel the dried chestnuts. Wash and soak in water overnight.

2. Pop all ingredients in a large, heavy based pan. Cover with water and bring to the boil for 1 minute then turn down to a simmer, continue to cook until until the chestnuts are very tender, approx 1 hour.  Add more water if you find it is too thick for you.

3. Pour into warm mugs and serve hot with a spoon so you can scoop up and enjoy the delicious chestnuts.

Authors Tips;

Why not try adding a splash of your favourite liquor to your mug for a truly indulgent christmassy night-time tipple.  Baileys works well!

It also works well reducing the brown sugar a little and substituting the equivalent measure with dark chocolate.Try adding a cinnamon stick to the mixture to spice it up even more!

The recipe caters for a large gathering so please adjust the quantities to suit. I made a batch for all the office and although the Maltese serve this in large, warm mugs we found an espresso serving or slightly bigger was the perfect size for an afternoon treat. 

It is best served with a teaspoon so you can scoop up the whole chestnuts.

The soft chestnuts make this dish extra special and festive, they taste delicious too. There are plenty in the recipe so that everyone can have a good spoonful per serving. If you enjoy chestnuts then you'll love our Easy Peel Oven Roasted Chestnut Recipe too.

Happy Festive Hot Chocolate Making Everyone!

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