February 11, 2013

Spiced Honey Hot Chocolate

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Chocolate is surely the food of love. So warm your valentine’s heart with luscious, thick,
molten hot chocolate. Forget mixes and powders – this is the real thing, made with quality chocolate. Is it a drink? Is it a dessert? It’s both. The secret ingredient is Chinese five-spice powder, a fragrant flavour shortcut. For a simple but decadent dessert, pop an artisan marshmallow or a dollop of whipped cream on top. You can, of course, scale the recipe up or down.

1-1/2 cups (375 mL) whole milk
1/2 cup (125 mL) heavy cream (35%)
2 tbsp (25 mL) honey
1/2 tsp (2 mL) Chinese five-spice powder
Pinch (0.25 mL) cayenne (optional)
5 oz (150 g) dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp (2 mL) vanilla extract

In small pan, heat milk, cream, honey, five-spice powder and cayenne (if desired) on medium-high heat until steamy, with small bubbles appearing at edges. (Do not boil.) Remove from heat. Cover and steep 10 minutes.

Pour through fine-mesh sieve, then return liquid to pan. Add chocolate. Heat on medium, whisking often, until mixture looks steamy, and is smooth and thick.

Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Serve immediately.

Makes 2-1/4 cups (550 mL).

  • I used a Cacao Barry 70% dark chocolate.

Shopping Cart: Asian grocery stores and some supermarkets sell Chinese five-spice powder. Do not confuse it with Bengali five-spice, better known as panch phoron.  

Make-Ahead: This chocolate mixture can be cooled, covered and refrigerated. Reheat slowly in a small pan on medium-low heat or in the microwave on medium power, stopping to stir a couple of times.