Spiced Hot Chocolate
Prep time: 5 mins | Brewing time: 5 mins | Yield 4 cups
- 2 cups water * see notes
- 1 cup milk
- 125 ml (1/2 cup) cream, divided * see notes
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 3 cloves
- 1 cardamom pod
- 1/8th teaspoon nutmeg powder (optional)
- 1/8th teaspoon allspice powder (optional) * see notes
- 100 grams dark chocolate roughly chopped * see notes
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened dark cocoa
- 5 tablespoons brown sugar (adjust to taste)
1. In a saucepan bring the water and milk to a simmer and add the cocoa and sugar. Continue to simmer for 2 minutes.
2. Toss in the cinnamon sticks, cardamom and cloves, chopped dark chocolate and stir until the chocolate is melted. Add in half of the cream and whisk so that no lumps remain. Do a quick taste check. If you need more sugar, add it now. Add the nutmeg and allspice powders, simmer for another half a minute and remove from heat.
3. Strain into heatproof mugs and top with the remaining cream that has been whipped with an electric whisk (if you need it fluffy) or simply with a fork. You can make your own pretty design by gently stirring the cream.
4. Dust with cocoa if desired and serve hot, warm or chilled. Tastes great anyway.
1. This drink is not very sweet and not too rich either because of a water & milk combination that is used to brew the cocoa instead of only milk as most recipes suggest. If you wish to make it more milky then just use milk and skip the water.
2. You can use any cream, fresh (with a shorter shelf life like Al-Marai in the UAE or slightly longer shelf life like Amul Fresh Cream in India. I used tinned heavy cream by Nestle.
3. Allspice is a kind of spice that looks like peppercorns. It is not to be confused with a spice blend of all spices put together like garam masala. Allspice is popular down South India but is pretty expensive. You may skip it or substitute with any warm spice of your choice.
4. To give the chocolate drink a kick you can add a tiny pinch of hot spice like chilli powder or flakes, freshly ground coarse pepper or even dried ginger. Make sure it doesn’t taste too spicy especially if you are serving it to kids.
5. Use good quality dark chocolate – as dark as you prefer. I used 52% cocoa, I dared not go beyond this! Use milk chocolate if you like.