I remember the day I sipped on some of the best hot chocolate I had ever tasted. I was still living in America and I was at one of my favorite coffee shops (side note: the owners had also lived abroad for quite some time). I noticed they had a new item on the menu: chai hot chocolate. I was skeptical but decided to give it a try.
My world of hot chocolate was changed forever! Maybe I’m being a little dramatic but it was very delicious. The taste of the spices worked so well with the cocoa and left this wonderful aftertaste on my tastebuds.
Unfortunately, that little family-owned coffee shop was the only place I could find where I could purchase a cup of this chocolately goodness. And I’ll be honest, since moving overseas, I had forgotten all about chai hot chocolate and how wonderful it tasted.
But then an article showed up on my Facebook feed about “hot chocolates you must try”. I was intrigued so I clicked on the article. It was then that I was reunited with my old, hot chocolate friend. I read through the recipe and, naturally, it was necessary to make some substitutions (#expatlife).
Today I wanted to share the recipe for both the chai spice mix and the chai hot chocolate. It’s my early Christmas present to you.
For the chai spice you will need:
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg*
- 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon*
- 3 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
*If you have cardamom on your spice rack, then you can use 1 teaspoon of that in place of 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.
Once you’ve added all of your spices to the bowl, you can mix it together. Now you have a bowl full of chai spice that you can store away for later use.
Now you’re ready to make yourself a cup (actually, 2 cups) of chai hot chocolate.
For the hot chocolate you will need:
- 2 cups milk (I used whole milk)
- 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon chai spice
Mix all of these ingredients in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.
A little tip: pre-mix your sugar with your cocoa powder before adding it to the milk so that it dissolves a little easier. You’re welcome.
When my husband took his first tip of his very first chai hot chocolate, he said, “Mmmm it tastes like Christmas.” I hadn’t really thought of it before but the spices do make a pleasant, Christmassy scent. Usually homemade eggnog is our go-to beverage for this time of year but I think we can make some room for this delicious hot chocolate.
Now, sit back and sip your chai treat. If you live on the equator like me, sip it in a room with the AC as low as possible and pretend like it’s hot-chocolate-weather. Am I right??
What’s your favorite beverage for the Christmas season? Do you have any recommended recipes that use chai spice?? I have a lot of it now 😉