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This recipe makes a sophisticated twist on the regular mug of cocoa.

Tad Seaborn

I've had this spiced hot chocolate recipe for many years, and pull it out in the winter for an after-meal sweet, or just as a sophisticated twist on the regular mug of cocoa. The spices should be easily found in the baking aisle and they make for a warmly complex and decadent holiday drink. Quite rich, the drink is best served in small portions. I also refrigerate it and then add more milk when reheating to lighten it up and serve to kids or pour into bigger mugs for après-outings that require thermal reinforcements

Servings: 4-6 cups

Spiced hot chocolate

2 cups homogenized milk

1/2 cup water

2 tbs. honey

4 star anise (whole)

3 cloves

1 tsp. cardamom seeds

2 cinnamon sticks

zest of 1/2 lemon

zest of 1/2 orange

1/4 tsp. salt

2 oz. roughly chopped bittersweet chocolate

Method

In a small pot, on medium-low, heat 2 cups homogenized milk, 1/4 cup water and two tablespoons honey until milk starts to steam. Remove from heat. Add 4 whole star anise, 3 cloves, 1 teaspoon cardamom seeds, 2 cinnamon sticks, zest of 1/2 lemon and zest of 1/2 an orange and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Mix lightly. Cover with a lid and steep for 1 hour. Strain and bring the infused milk to a low simmer and add 2 ounces, roughly chopped, bittersweet chocolate. Whisk as the chocolate melts till smooth and combined. Serve. Add extra milk or water to lighten up the flavours.

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