As a little girl I could never wait for it to get cold enough for my dad to make me a big mug of hot cocoa. Of course in Texas, that could take a while. Our Winters are typically pretty warm so it was always a special treat when we could have Hot Cocoa. With marshmallows of course!
Now as an Adult.. I’m still in love with Hot Cocoa.. except I’m always looking for ways to mix it up. I particularly love the spice of this Hot Cocoa since I love Chai Tea. The flavors are subtle but heartwarming. Not to mention the little bit of joy that I get from standing over the stove making Hot Cocoa the old fashioned way.
Chai Hot Chocolate
Yield: 3 servings
2 cups reduced-fat (2%) milk
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
5 cardamom pods, coarsely cracked
2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar, divided
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
whipping cream for garnish
Combine first milk, chocolate, cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, allspice, pepper, brown sugar, and ginger in medium saucepan. Bring almost to simmer, whisking frequently. Remove from heat; cover and steep 10 minutes.
Mix in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.
Strain hot chocolate. Ladle into mugs. Top each with dollop of cream.