Is it too early to start making hot chocolate?
I don’t know. The sunny afternoons full of warmly colored leaves and temperatures reaching for 70 tell me yes. But as I sit here looking out at a now gloomily gray sky, shivering a bit even in my thick oversize knit sweater since the back door can’t seem to stay shut (super active littles) and chilly air creeps in, my mind is crying out NO! No it is not. Hot chocolate is appropriate any time you want it to be, and really, it is October. I think I’m safe.
Last weekend I made a gorgeous chocolate tart from my friend Alanna’s new cookbook, which I’ll be sharing next week. The tart was infused with earl grey tea. It was fabulous. The tea was steeped into the cream which turned into a chocolate flavored truffle filling. As I stood there, squeezing the cream soaked tea bags to extract every little drop of bergamot flavor them and into the cream, I realized: Why am I not doing this to EVERYTHING involving cream?! Well, that may be a little overboard, but I knew that a tea infused hot chocolate was happening asap.
And here it is.
Thick, dark hot chocolate scented with notes of bergamot and vanilla, topped with a maple sweetened whipped cream. I dusted a little bit of vanilla bean powder on top for a bit of interest, as well as a sprinkling of sea salt. Always sea salt on the hot chocolate. This recipe makes two large mugs of hot chocolate, or four smaller servings. Use a good quality chocolate for best results (though chocolate chips will always work in a pinch). If you use bittersweet chocolate, you may need to use a bit more maple syrup to sweeten.
- 1 cup Heavy Cream
- 1 cup Whole Milk
- ¼ cup + Maple Syrup
- ½ Vanilla Bean, split lengthwise
- ½ teaspoon Sea Salt
- 3-4 Bags Earl Grey Tea (use 4 bags for stronger flavor)
- 3 ounces Bittersweet or Dark Chocolate, chopped
- Whipped Cream, to top (sweeten with maple syrup)
- Vanilla Bean Powder, to garnish (optional)
- Place the cream, milk, maple syrup, vanilla bean, and sea salt in a saucepan and bring just to a boil. Remove from heat and place the tea bags in the mixture. Let steep for 10 minutes. Remove the tea bags from the saucepan, squeezing on the bags to extract as much flavor as possible. Discard Bags.
- Remove the vanilla beans from the saucepan.
- Add the chocolate to the saucepan and whisk over medium/high heat until chocolate is melted and mixture is steaming. Taste hot chocolate and add more maple syrup if a sweeter drink is desired.
- Pour into mugs and top with whipped cream and a small pinch of vanilla bean powder.
More Steamy Drinks?