That perfect cinnamon hot chocolate!

A very easy-to-make drink that will brighten up your day.
A very easy-to-make drink that will brighten up your day.

I love winters. The chill, the heavy woolens, the foggy streets and the warm sunshine. More so, I love winters for the food. There are a host of dishes I cannot even imagine to even eat, let alone cook in the balmy heat of June. But on the many occasions I am home for Christmas or New Year’s Day, I try to innovate as much a possible. Experimenting with new dishes whenever I can.

However,  one of my favorite winter classics is not a new one, rather a tried and tested hot beverage. The cinnamon hot chocolate is extremely easy and quite delightful to enjoy along with that perfect book or a movie. Amateur cooks looking to impress their parents or friends will love this in particular.

Ingredients:

1 cup full-cream milk {Avoid using skim milk! Trust me}.

1 teaspoon drinking cocoa powder {I generally use the Cadbury or the Weikfield one}.

1/4 teaspoon coffee powder {Try using the milder coffee beans. The strong ones can be very pungent}.

1 and 1/2 teaspoon sugar {You can also substitute it with Sugar-Free Natura with equal amounts}.

2 cloves, 2 green cardamoms, half a piece of star anise.

A pinch of cinnamon {Not too much. The flavor is quite strong, mind you}

Method:

Bring the milk to a light boil in a saucepan. When the sides begin to bubble, add the cloves, cardamoms and star anise. Turn down the gas to minimum and let the spices simmer in the milk for a while. Add a dash of water to help lighten the milk.

Next, add the cocoa powder. You can add a little extra if you think that the cocoa is not strong enough. Follow it up with the coffee and sugar. Now add the cinnamon. Turn up the gas and bring to a boil. Lift up the pan as soon as the milk begins to rise and give a gentle swirl to combine all the ingredients. Novice cooks are strictly advised to skip the step and mix everything with a whisker or a long spoon. How will you raise your cup if you burn your fingers!?

Take pan off the gas and pour the drink out with a strainer onto a wide mouth cup. A normal cup will suit fine too. I prefer a larger cup because the hot chocolate cools down faster and allows me to gulp it down that quicker.

Some people grate a sprinkle of nutmeg to finish the drink, but I think it is perfect the way it is. Sure you can try that too and a lot more different ways to enjoy it. But the most important thing is to clean up the utensils after you are done. Trust me, that extra bit of effort will go a long way if you end up faltering in your first attempt.

Do try this recipe and leave me feedback or even tips to make it better.

Happy cooking!

One thought on “That perfect cinnamon hot chocolate!

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