Chai-Spiced Hot Chocolate

Yum! What is better on a cold day than a hot cup of cocoa? Megan Fleiner of the charming blog Passports and Pancakes shares a fun variation of the classic: Chai-Spiced Hot Chocolate with Vanilla Whipped Cream. Her feature in the winter issue can be found on page 66. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS
For the hot chocolate:
1 cinnamon stick, plus extra for garnish
4 green cardamom pods
6 thin slices fresh ginger (skin removed)
1 star anise
4 whole cloves
6 whole black peppercorns
2 cups whole milk
1.6 ounces dark chocolate, roughly chopped
1.6 ounces milk chocolate, roughly chopped

For the whipped cream:
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract


DIRECTIONS
For the hot chocolate:
Add all ingredients except the chocolate to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, covered. Remove from heat and let steep for 10 minutes. Strain the milk into another saucepan or bowl and discard the spices. Heat the spiced milk over low-medium heat and add the chocolate. Stir continuously until the chocolate has melted completely (this should take about 5 minutes). Serve immediately, topped with vanilla whipped cream.

For the whipped cream:
Add all ingredients to a chilled mixing bowl. Whip with an electric mixer for 5-7
minutes until you have whipped cream. (This will make extra, so reserve whatโ€™s left for other holiday desserts!)

Recipe and Photos courtesy of Megan Fleiner, Passports and Pancakes