Filled with warming spices this dairy-free Chinese 5 spice hot chocolate is rich and complex in flavor.
There’s nothing quite like a steaming mug of homemade hot chocolate to make you feel cozy and warm from the inside out is there? Whether you’re about to head out for a long day, or back curled up on the couch at home, a good cup of hot chocolate soothes and fortifies; it helps take the sting out of those cold, blustery days.
Rich, creamy and totally comforting it’s a wintertime favorite for most of us. And while you need little more than milk and the best chocolate you can find to make a cup, I like to add a little bit of spice for an unexpected kick.
Gently seasoned with the sweet and spicy notes of star anise, cinnamon, cloves, fennel, Szechwan pepper and a hint of nutmeg, this Chinese 5 spice (okay 6 technically) hot chocolate is rich and complex in flavor.
If you’ve never used Chinese 5 spice, it’s a traditional mix of spices that livens and enhances almost everything it touches. If you like Indian chai spices, I think you’ll enjoy Chinese 5 spice as well.
It requires only the slightest bit more effort than regular hot chocolate, for which you’ll be amply rewarded.
You start by infusing creamy coconut milk with the whole spices, then whisk in both chopped chocolate and cacao powder for a rich, full-bodied chocolate flavor. Ten minutes is all you really need to let those spices do their thing but if you have the time to let them hang out for a bit a longer you’ll have an even more fragrant cup. Of course if you’re super short on time you can also make a batch of the spiced milk ahead of time, warming and whisking in the chocolate when you are ready for a mug, sipped preferably in front of a roaring fire.
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