Our Winter Wonderland Secret
Yep. We know what you're thinking. You can already sense that this is going to involve some shopping, chopping and cleaning up afterwards. We feel your resistance and we understand. BUT you must read on. It's for your own good.
Below is a recipe for Cardamon & Orange Spiced White Hot Chocolate. It's a recipe that could change your life...if you let it.
Trust us, give it a go. Invite a friend round. Make it together, drink it together. Curl up on the sofa together and have a really good catch up. Because in years to come you'll never remember the hot chocolate in a paper cup that you bought from the boring coffee chain, but you will remember the day you made a mess of the kitchen and hung out with your favourite person.
YOU WILL NEED
115 grams/4 oz of good quality white chocolate, roughly chopped
240ml/2 cups milk (we'd suggest whole milk but it's up to you)
3-4 green cardamon pods, crushed (you should bother with these. Don't cheat.)
A 5cm/2 inch strip of orange zest*
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
A pinch of cinnamon or freshly grated nutmeg, for decorative but delicious garnish
fresh whipped cream, for serving (Some people might consider this to be optional. We are not those people.)
*use a vegetable peeler to remove just the outer (orange) part of the rind — try to avoid getting any of the white pith underneath because it tastes bitter.
1. Chop your chocolate up roughly and place it in a large bowl. (If you're using white chocolate chips just add them to the bowl as they are.)
2. Place a small pan on the stove over medium-low heat, and add the milk, crushed cardamon, and orange zest. Heat until the milk begins to steam, and small bubbles appear around the edges of the pot, stirring frequently to keep the milk from scorching on the bottom of the pan. As soon as bubbles appear at the edges, remove from the heat — boiling it is a bad idea so take control before it gets too hot.
3. Place a strainer over the bowl with the chocolate, and pour the milk through to remove the cardamom and orange. Add the vanilla extract, and let sit for 20-30 seconds to allow the chocolate to begin melting. Whisk until smooth.
4. Your final flourishes are a sprinkle of cinnamon or freshly grated nutmeg followed by a dollop of fresh whipped cream.
Crank up some Michael Bublé tunes (today is not a day for earning cool points, so just go with it) and settle down on the sofa with your life-enhancing hot chocolate and your life-enhancing friend.
Here's a picture of Helena with hot chocolate that brings back happy memories of the two us mooching round London in the cold a few years ago. She will probably moan at me for posting it.
This is us in Berlin earlier this year. I can't remember whether we were drinking hot chocolate at the time, but it's a happy picture!
TOP IMAGE- Thanks to @gizoss_ on Instagram for her beautiful picture. #momijidolls