Chai-Spiced Hot Chocolate

Chai-Spiced Hot Chocolate
Contributor
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If you are a fan of creamy and spicy chai, then this hot chocolate is right up your alley. 

Ingredients

1 teaspoon cardamom seeds (or 12 cardamom pods)
1 teaspoon fresh grated cinnamon
8 whole cloves
6 peppercorns
½ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
10 fennel seeds
1 tablespoon ground ginger
4 cups milk (or non-dairy substitute)
¾ cup dark Dutch process cocoa
½ cup honey
1 tablespoon teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Directions

Using a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder, combine the cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns, nutmeg, fennel seeds, and ginger.

Heat the milk over medium heat, and whisk in the cocoa, chai mixture, and pinch of salt.

When milk is just starting to steam, turn heat to low, and steep for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Heat mixture back to steaming, add the vanilla extract, and strain into mugs.

Garnish with a dollop of unsweetened whipped cream and serve.

Spice Shopping Tip

Spices and dried herbs have a shelf life too, and lose potency over time. The rule of thumb is, if your spices are over two years old, it's time to buy some new ones.

Spice Cooking Tip

Toasting whole spices before using them intensifies their aroma and flavor.