When I say ‘I want a cup of tea,’ I actually mean that I want a gigantic mug of homemade chocolat chaud that is so thick it barely drips off my spoon.
So… I want a cup of tea.
I do truly enjoy a nice cup of English Breakfast every once in a while, but let’s just be honest and say that my ideal hot beverage is a little more than leaf-flavored water. It’s milk-flavored melted chocolate with a dome of whipped cream so big that it could stand in for Mount Everest in a diorama of Nepal.
Chocolat chaud too boring for you? No, wait, that’s not possible. Ready to taste a pureed piece of gingerbread in your mug of liquid gold? Are you a glutton for all things wonderful? Yes and yes? Well, here’s the ticket to paradise. Or two tickets if you’re Eddie Money.
Normally I am of the opinion that flavored hot chocolate is an excuse to mask lackluster ingredients, but this one is a fabulous exception. You have all the classic components of a gluttonous mug of chocolate (helloooo, 12 ounces of chopped chocolate!!) but this time with heady, earthy spices redolent of a thick, warm slice of gingerbread. A very lovely, unique change of pace. It even reminds me a little bit of chai… chai with a chocolate bar melted in it. YES.
Don’t let all those holiday spices collect dust till next year’s baking frenzy. Let me spice up your hot chocolate the way 50 Shades of Grey spiced up your Christmas stocking.
- 2 t ground cinnamon
- 2 t ground allspice
- 2 t ground ginger
- 1 t ground nutmeg
- 1 t ground clove
- ¼ t ground cardamom
- ¼ t kosher salt
- ½ c vanilla sugar (or regular while sugar), see recipe below
- ½ c good quality cocoa powder (I use Penzey's)
- 12 ounces finely chopped, high-quality dark or semi-sweet chocolate
- Mix everything except the dark chocolate in a bowl with a whisk until well-combined. Stir in the dark chocolate until mixed. To make cocoa, stir ¼ c of the mixture into 8 ounces of hot milk (or half and half if you're feeling extra-decadent). Adjust amount of chocolate for thicker, richer hot chocolate.
- How to make vanilla sugar: Scrape the seeds from 1 vanilla bean and mix with 2 cups sugar in a large bowl. Stir with a whisk or your hands until the small, black vanilla seeds are evenly distributed throughout the sugar. Store the sugar in an airtight container along with the vanilla pod for at least 48 hours. Remove pod before using.