December 6, 2011 § Leave a comment
You can’t begin exploring the world of chocolate without starting chocolate as a drink. It’s been used that way throughout it’s history. It’s where it all started with its earliest documented use around 1100 BC in Mesoamerica where it dominated for centuries. The Aztecs liked their “bitter water” cold, the Mayans hot. It’s origin is not unlike coffee starting out as a bean, being dried then roasted into a highly addictive beverage.
I’m a hot chocolate girl and last night it was needed with our -2 degree temperatures in Boulder. Instead of regular old cocoa, I decided to make a cardamom and orange cup of chocolate with cardamom whipped cream to enjoy with friends. A little fancier than the Aztecs would have done it but they didn’t have Cuisinarts and Kitchen Aid mixers.
First I prepped the cardamom which were in pods by slicing them and getting the seeds out. Then they were ground in my small cuisinart. In a medium saucepan I added 1 tsp of the cardamom with all of the remaining ingredients and brought it to a slow boil, making sure to stir so as n
ot to burn the milk. I simmered it for a few more minutes and then poured the chocolate milk through a strainer into the mugs awaiting.
As the chocolate was coming to a boil I also made whipped cream:
1 pint hea
1/4 cup sugar (or however much you like depending on your level of sweetness)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground cardamom
In a KitchenAid mixer whip cream until it starts to thicken almost into desired consistency, slowly add sugar and remaining ingredients. Continue whipping until it’s the consistency you want.
Each mug of fragrant hot chocolate received a dollop of cream.
Chocolate goes well with so many different things and it will be a fun experiment this winter to come up with my favorite hot chocolate concoction. If you have your own you love, please pass it along!