I like to finish a meal with something sweet. In the spring and summer, a piece of fruit or a popsicle will suffice but come the colder months, my desire rests within the embrace of something warm. Like many of you, I hope, my winter diet is heavier and it's my habituated palate that yearns for sweetness, not my stomach or metabolism. I don't need much -- just a taste.
My dear and adventurous friend, Eliza, just went to Guatamala and returned raving about cacao and entreated me to share a recipe involving it. Her request came at the perfect time; between Amy's birthday and Valentine's day, chocolate and other cacao products have been lining the shelves and dusting the floors.
The recipe today is an empowering one in that it's so simple and satisfying. So many of us feel limited by our capabilities but we needn't deny ourselves the luxuries that are available to us within our pantries and upon our stoves.
Hot Cocoa w/ Cardamom
Heat the milk and other ingredients slowly before adding the cacao, which will sometimes clump when added to cold liquid. Boil some water to pre-heat the teacups or mugs in which you plan to serve the hot cocoa; you deserve hot beverages to remain so as long as possible in these cold months.
3 c milk (rice, soy or hemp milk will work for vegans)
3 T maple syrup
1 t cardamom (optional but encouraged)
1/4 t salt
1/4 c cacao powder
Over a medium flame, heat the milk, maple syrup, cardamom and salt. When the milk is hot to the touch, whisk in the cacao until it is incorporated -- leaving the beverage a beautiful rosy light brown.
Pour into pre-heated teacups or mugs and savor away.
Yields: 4 small hot cocoas (or 2 larger ones)
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooktime: 5 minutes
Pictures by Amy Pennington/Styling by Me