All my childhood, when someone would ask me, “do you want some hot chocolate ?” I’d be so tempted, my mouth would water, but the thought of having milk would make me sick, so inspite of all my love for chocolate, I could never have a hot chocolate. Not ‘cuz I was allergic/intolerant to dairy or anything, I just don’t like milk. It made me feel heavy and uneasy and sometimes sick. I could have yogurt and butter and cheese, but just not milk. Its only recently that I realised I can have my hot chocolate, and enjoy it too. Its just got to be dairy free !
How do you like your hot chocolate ? Runny or thick ? Another thing that really cheezed me off was, when one would stir a spoon of sweetened cocoa powder in a glass of milk and call it hot chocolate. No that’s not hot chocolate. That’s chocolate milk ! Hot chocolate to me, well its got to be luscious, thick, soup like, like hot – melted chocolate. Its got to coat the inner of your mouth as you sip on it and line your track down till your belly. A little more complex than a drink and leaning a little towards a luxurious, creamy pudding.
That to me is a comforting soul satisfying cup of hot chocolate on a cold day. And what you put in your hot chocolate decides how great it is going to taste. I cannot emphasise enough, on the quality of cocoa / cacao / chocolate you use. Trust me there’s nothing else you need to worry about other that the quality of chocolate that goes in. Use the best you can, if you’re particular about vegan, use vegan chocolate or just use your favourite bar of chocolate. If you’re making this for your kids, skip the aromatics, they usually like it pretty simple. For this recipe I have used homemade almond milk, but you can also use any plant based milk of your choice. There’s Rice milk, cashew milk, coconut milk, soy milk any other nut milk … whichever you fancy. There are times when I take half almond and half coconut milk, so its really up to you. The sweetener again can be maple syrup, coconut sugar, stevia or powered jaggery. It is a pretty simple this recipe and ready in minutes. It is also a great for an evening snack, as its quite filling ans satisfying. I personally go easy on the sweetener as I like to accompany it with my favourite gluten free and vegan – Chocolate Almond Cookie, which you can order here and enjoy them too.
- 2 1/2 cups Almond Milk ( or any plant based milk of your choice )
- 120 gm chopped Vegan Chocolate ( or any chocolate of choice )
- 2 tbsp really good cocoa / cacao powder
- 2 tbsp powdered jaggery sugar (or sweetener of choice )
- 2 tsp cornflour
- 4-5 star anise flowers
- 2 sticks of cinnamon
In a heavy bottom saucepan, take 2 cups of milk. Add the star anise and cinnamon stick and gently bring to simmer. If you choose not to use the aromatics, simply skip this step. Once infused removed the spices and add the chopped chocolate to the milk. Stir well and add the sugar and cocoa powder. Bring gently to a simmer, meanwhile n another bowl, mix the cornflower and 1/2 cup of milk. Add it to the hot chocolate whisking it gently. In a bit the mixture will start to thicken. You can take it off the heat once you reach the desired consistency, check for the sweetness and pour them in cups. Dust with cocoa powder and chopped chocolate bits and serve immediately.