How to spice up your hot chocolate {Recipe from Spice Market}

Is it getting cold where you live?

Then it just might be time to make some hot chocolate.

I know that drinks like these can get personal. There are those who still (gasp!) reach for the powdery versions on the supermarket shelves, while others insist on making theirs the same way every time, with the same chocolate, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

But I suggest you add some spices to your next version of hot chocolate. I’m partial to cardamom and cinnamon, both of which appear in this stellar version from Spike Market New York.

Give it a try. It’s that good.

My recommendations:
You can drink this with or without the booze.
You can mix and mingle what spices you like (but please don’t omit them altogether).
You can add the crushed peppermint sticks (or not; I won’t).
You can add the crushed white chocolate, or choose to skip it.
I’d definitely recommend serving it with the orange blossom whipped cream.
And I’d recommend inviting a few friends over to share this oh-so-tasty spicy hot chocolate.

Enjoy!

Spiked Hot Chocolate
Courtesy of Spice Market in NYC
Makes 2 servings, for you and a friend or loved one

4 cinnamon sticks
6 cardamom pods
1 fresh nutmeg
2 tablespoons of Ovaltine
2 tablespoons of cocoa powder (oh Scharfen Berger, how I love thee)
3 tablespoons of powdered sugar
50 grams of 66% chocolate, chopped (have I told you how much I love Mast Brothers Chocolate?)
1 tablespoon of cinnamon sugar
1 1/4 cups of half & half
2 shots of Bailey’s Irish Cream (optional)

Optional toppings: orange blossom whipped cream (recipe below), crushed peppermint sticks, chopped white or dark chocolate.

Toast cinnamon sticks and cardamom pods at 350 for 5 minutes (on a cookie sheet is fine). Crush cinnamon sticks and cardamom pods (I use a mortar & pestle) and add them to a sauce pot along with the half & half. Grate a dash of fresh nutmeg into the saucepan. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and cover with plastic wrap. Let steep for 30 minutes.

Whisk together cocoa powder, Ovaltine, chocolate, cinnamon sugar and powdered sugar. Strain the half & half mixture, add dry mixture and stir together in a pot, then bring to a light simmer. Whisk until foamy, then pour into a coffee mug. Add a shot of Bailey’s, stir then top with a dollop of orange blossom whipped cream, and if you like, crushed peppermint sticks and chopped white chocolate.

Orange Blossom Whipped Cream

2 cups heavy whipping cream
1⁄4 tsp orange blossom water

Whip the cream and orange blossom water in a stand mixer until stiff peaks form. Scoop onto beverage and enjoy!

Share your cocoa concoctions!What are your favorite ingredients to add to hot chocolate? Do you like yours with or without booze? Tell is in the comments below.

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