This week has been a difficult week for me in many ways, and a good week in other ways. I am not used to change and to be honest, I don’t like change. Change can be good and I know that, but up until this week I had a very set and precise schedule that I had adhered to for nearly three years. It feels odd to be working the complete opposite schedule and not being able to see my husband nearly as much, which has been the worst part to be honest.
Jake is the taste-tester of all A Common Kitchen recipes, the one who encouraged me to start and stick with this blog when I considered giving up on it, and most of all, he is the most important thing in my life. It’s discomforting not being with him as much as I used to be, but hopefully all of these changes will be worth it in the end.
Anyways, on to this weeks recipe. This Cardamom French Hot Chocolate is a perfect hot drink for the recent cold weather. If you have never had French Hot Chocolate before, you are missing out on a truly delicious drink! It is a thick, rich, and decadent version of hot chocolate, made by using a short list of high quality ingredients.
Basic French Hot Chocolate contains only milk, dark chocolate, and a little bit of sugar. To make this recipe my own, I decided to add a special twist; Cardamom. Cardamom is a very aromatic and warm spice that adds spicy and citrus notes that pair perfectly with dark chocolate. In this recipe I use whole green cardamom pods as well as ground cardamom powder. It creates a subtle cardamom flavor that makes this French Classic all the more delicious.
A couple notes on this recipe:
The Milk and Heavy Cream: use a good quality whole milk and heavy cream. Yes, whole milk people. We don’t want to use something as rich and fatty as heavy cream but we also don’t want to go the polar opposite and use skim milk, 1%, or even 2%. Whole milk will produce a perfectly rich decadent hot chocolate. In addition to using whole milk, I always prefer to consume organic milk. I have found that organic milk is more creamy and has a “cleaner” taste than regular milk. Although I exclusively buy organic milk, I know that not everyone cares to. However, since this recipe requires so few ingredients, I highly recommend using the best quality milk you can get your hands on. If you can get organic grass-fed whole milk, even better! That is the best of the best.
Next, the dark chocolate. Again, this recipe uses very few ingredients and chocolate is the main ingredient in this recipe. This is Hot Chocolate and you don’t want to use a cheap one. Now this is not to say that you have to spend $10 on one chocolate bar. I honestly wouldn’t spend that much on chocolate myself! I always buy Ghirardelli 70% bittersweet chocolate bars or the 73% Trader Joe’s brand chocolate bars which cost less than $4 per bar. For this recipe, I highly suggest only using barred chocolate and roughly chopping it up. Chocolate chips contains high amount of stabilizers (ever seen ‘Soy Lecithin’ on a label?) and chocolate bars have less amounts of these. You can use chocolate chips in a pinch, but I recommend bars if you have the option!
As for the topping of the Hot Chocolate, I made a simple Cardamom Whipped Cream that perfectly balances the rich hot chocolate.
This Cardamom French Hot Chocolate is simple yet decadent. It is creamy, chocolatey, and is the perfect drink to enjoy on a cold fall day. If you want something more than a simple water and chocolate powder combination, this is the recipe for you. Trust me, once you make this recipe you will never be able to go back to those packages of hot chocolate.
If you try this recipe, make sure to take a photo and share it with me on Instagram (@acommonkitchen) because I would love to see your creations and talk with you. Thanks for visiting the blog this week everyone! Xx
Cardamom French Hot Chocolate
Makes Four Small Cups
For the Cardamom Whipped Cream
1 Cup Heavy Cream
2 Tablespoons Powdered Sugar
¼ Teaspoon Ground Cardamom
For the Hot Chocolate
1 ½ Cups Whole Milk
½ Cup Heavy Cream
4 Whole Cardamom Pods, lightly crushed
½ Vanilla Pod, sliced in half and seeds scraped out
1 Tablespoon Raw Cane Sugar
¼ Teaspoon Kosher Salt
6 Ounces High Quality Dark Chocolate (70% is what I use), roughly chopped
To make the Cardamom Whipped Cream:
In a medium sized bowl, add the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and ground cardamom. Use a whisk to whip the cream into medium-soft peaks. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.
To make the Hot Chocolate:
In a medium sized saucepan add the whole milk, heavy cream, cardamom pods, vanilla bean seeds and pod. Turn the heat to medium-low and, stirring occasionally, bring the milk to a simmer— do NOT let the milk boil or it will scorch! Once the milk is simmering, place a fine mesh sieve over a large measuring cup (or bowl) and pour the milk through it to catch the cardamom pods and vanilla bean pods. Discard the pods.
Add the chocolate into the hot milk and let it sit for one minute. After the chocolate has heated up, whisk the mixture until there are no lumps of chocolate and the mixture is silky smooth.
Divide the hot chocolate evenly between for smaller mugs (or two larger mugs) and top with a big dollop of the cardamom whipped cream. Enjoy!