Rich Hot Chocolate Spiced with Aromatic Chai Spices
Hot chocolate is such a comforting wintry drink. It warms your core and convinces you that yes, you can survive the blustery chill and lack of sun. *Sigh*... You're inside though, in the warmth with your loved ones and your favorite relaxing hobby. I can't think of a better addition than a mug of spicy hot chocolate. Do you love chai? Try this spin on traditional hot chocolate.
P.S. You can make this recipe sans the spices, with the ingredients under Hot Chocolate: plus the ¼ cup granulated sugar and a pinch of salt, for a delicious homemade hot chocolate.
Serves 2 or more
3 cups of milk (24 oz. of your favorite milk)
2 oz. semi-sweet Baker's chocolate (half of a 4 oz. bar)
¼ cup of heavy cream
¼ cup granulated sugar (sweeten to taste, or not at all if you prefer)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. whole cloves
½ tsp. ground cardamom
½ tsp. ground coriander
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
¼ tsp, black pepper
A pinch of salt
Start by cutting the bar of chocolate in half. Store the other half for another time (maybe you'll want to make more hot chocolate?). Cut the chocolate up in pieces, so they melt more quickly and evenly later. Set the chocolate aside in a heat proof bowl. Heat the ¼ cup of heavy cream in a small saucepan, or in the microwave until it comes to a slight boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate shavings, and let it sit for a minute or two. Stir well, and make sure all of the chocolate has melted smoothly and completely. You should have a pretty and shiny chocolate ganache. Set aside for later.
Combine the ingredients of the spice mixture together in a small bowl. Mix the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cardamom, coriander, nutmeg, black pepper and salt together until the ingredients are well distributed in the mixture.
In a medium saucepan, combine the milk and spice mix, place a cover on top, and heat over a low medium heat. Steep the spices in the milk until it starts to steam. Once the milk is hot and steamy, carefully strain the milk and spices through a fine sieve. Transfer the milk back into the saucepan. Make sure the milk is still quite steamy; if not, return to medium heat. Add the chocolate ganache to the milk. Remove from heat, and stir vigorously until the chocolate has assimilated thoroughly into the milk.
Stir well before serving.
This hot chocolate is quite rich, so it's probably more satisfying when served in several demitasse cups. You could fill two 12 ounce cups with it though.
If marshmallow topping is your thing, by all means feel free, but I must suggest a generous dollop of whipped cream on top. Yum!
Now with your mug in hand, say: "ho ho hot chocolate!" No? Okay, you can skip that one...
Mmmm, bask in the decadence and holiday spice.
Please stay warm and cozy this frosty season.
Merry Christmas, and Happy Holiday!
-The Grey's Posy Team