Cardamom has got to be the one spice I always stock in my spice cupboard. Used whole, coarsely crushed in curries or finely ground powder in desserts and drinks. It’s the most versatile spice which Indians use in savoury as well as sweet dishes. The best way to bring out the flavour is to crush it in a pestle and mortar or coffee grinder. The smell wafting through the kitchen of freshly ground cardamom is addictive.
Commonly used in drinks particularly masala chai/ tea to give that perfumed aroma and taste.
One of my favourite ways to perk up a hot chocolate is with crushed cardamom stirred through while it’s bubbling away. For me spiced hot chocolate spell winter comforts. What better than to huddle up under a duvet with a mug of hot chocolate on a cold frosty evening. Bliss!
I have used 70% cocoa solids for the hot chocolate recipe. Personally I find milk chocolate too sweet and also the flavour just isn’t strong enough. With dark chocolate you get a really rich flavour with every sip and also able to sweeten it just the way you like it. I also had some leftover stem ginger in the fridge so poured in some of the syrup. It sweetened the hot chocolate but added that mellow gingery flavour which is simply gorgeous. I am addicted to this recipe and once you’ve tried it I promise you will be too!
To find out where you can shop for a variety of cardamom, ginger syrup and cocoa make sure to check out the diary pages of my website. The spice pantry has a selection of online and in store options where you can get hold of amazing ingredients.
In a heavy bottom sauce pan add 200mls of the milk and bring it to a simmer. Now using a whisk, mix in the dark chocolate letting it melt on a low heat. Add the remaining milk along with the sugar, cardamom powder and ginger syrup. Stir well. Make sure it doesn’t boil and simmer for a further minute. Serve warm with a swirl of cream and grated chocolate.