Sometimes you have to face reality: Winter can be cruel, dark, cold and disgusting. Not even lit christmas trees, candle light and 1-m-long scarfs can help that fact. However, that is exactly where spiced hot chocolate with salted caramel sauce gets into the game. It warms our souls and has an unhealthy content of sugar, which makes us all the more happy, I am sure. Take that, winter!
You know me: Whenever possible, I avoid using refined sugar, try to substitute wheat flour with wholemeal spelt flour, and try to sneak in fresh fruits or veggies into every meal to ensure I get as many vitamins as possible. I love “healthy” (I’m not sure what this word means actually, but what I mean is wholesome, energising, nutrient-rich) food, and luckily my taste buds got so used to my way of eating that they will protest as soon as I eat shop-bought cookies and cake and drink cocktails which contain a lot of sugar.
Yet, by all means I sometimes have cookies, cake and cocktails nonetheless, and I enjoy them anyhow – knowing that I will be eating a vegetable soup again sooner than soon. Life is too short for restrains, I believe, and winter is too long to refrain from a hot chocolate, enjoyed on a cosy, warm couch.
I went a little over the top with this spiced hot chocolate: It’s made with salted cramel sauce and topped with whipped cream. Triple-No-Go that is, but I couldn’t care less – after all it’s winter, and that calls for comfort food (or drinks, in this case)!
The recipe is part of my food column of the December issue of Mio magazine. Have a look here to view any recipes I contribute to the magazine every month.
Have a lovely beginning of December!
Spiced hot chocolate with salted caramel sauce
For two mugs:
2 cardamom pods
1/2 vanilla bean
500 ml milk (I use half-fat)
2 tbsp unsweetened cacao powder
2 tbsp sugar (or honey)
3 tbsp salted caramel sauce (recipe below)
20 g dark chocolate
1 cinnamon stick
To serve (optional):
2 cinnamon sticks
Salted caramel sauce
Crush the cardamom in a pestle and mortar, remove the xx and groud the seeds. Roast the cardamom in a small pan without fat for a few seconds, until it starts to smell.
Scrape out the vanilla pulp from the bean.
Heat the milk in a small saucepan. Add cardamom, vanilla pulp and bean, cacao powder, sugar, salted caramel sauce and cinnamon stick. Bring the milk to a boil, stirring, and simmer for a minute or so.
Remove the saucepan from the hear. Remove the vanilla bean and cinnamon stick. Divide the spiced hot chocolate over two mugs and top with whipped cream, chocolate curls, salted caramel sauce and/or chili flakes, sprinkle with cacao powder and serve immediately.
Salted caramel sauce
(Try also with ice cream, pancakes, waffles, brownies or for breakfast on toast or croissant)
For a small jar to store:
45 g butter
40 g refined sugar
40 g light brown sugar
60 ml cream
1/2 tsp fleur de sel
Add butter and sugar to a small saucepan and slowly bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Simmer the butter sugar mixture for three minutes, until the sugar is dissolved, then stir in the cream and fleur de sel. Bring the sauce to a boil once again.
Remove the salted caramel sauce from the heat, transfer it to a sealable jar and allow to cool before storing it in the fridge for a couple of days.