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.

     Heartwarming hot chocolate. Credit: Susan Sampson


1-1/2 cups (375 mL) whole milk
1/2 cup (125 mL) heavy cream (35%)
2 tbsp (25 mL) liquid honey
1/2 tsp (2 mL) Chinese five-spice powder
Pinch (0.25 mL) cayenne powder (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 set over medium bowl. Discard solids. Return liquid to pan. Reheat on medium until steamy. Remove from heat. Add chocolate. Let sit 1 minute, or until chocolate is partly melted. Whisk until smooth and thick.

Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Serve warm.

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

  • I used a 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: Cool, cover and refrigerate. Reheat slowly in a small pan on medium-low heat or in the microwave on medium power, stopping to stir a couple of times.