At first I didn’t think we were going to have a winter this year, which for the record is totally fine with me. I’m more of the sweat over shiver type, even though bundling up in hats and mittens and scarves on top of scarves is one of my favorite pastimes.
But then, one day last week, winter did come and I’m still feeling a bit of a chill because of it. Though it only stayed for a brief moment and it’s already back in the 50s, it was still rough. So rough, in fact, that it required a new hot cocoa recipe. One of the ginger variety as you might’ve guessed.
I have this friend named Lacy who loves ginger candies so much she can eat a whole bag before realizing what happened. She also runs marathons a lot. This is why I think she’s crazy.
Ginger candy. Honestly, I don’t get it. I popped a giant ginger square in my mouth after hearing Lacy loved it so much and I haven’t stopped regretting it since. Ginger has such a strong, spicy flavor, which is why I prefer it as a complementary flavor, not the main squeeze.
After some experimenting I found the perfect role for ginger to play: Ground ginger (or you could sub fresh) went into the hot cocoa itself and a ginger candy was used to line the rim of the serving mug. How perfect. That way every sip has a hint of ginger without being too overhwhelming. The result, i think, was quite perfect.
This hot chocolate has a lovely warmth. It’s sweet, creamy and chocolatey and not-too-spicy due to a conservative amount of ginger. But, if you love the stuff like Lacy then by all means, pop a few ginger candies in your mouth while you’re making a batch and throw in a whole teaspoon of ginger instead of half. Go wild, I don’t make the ginger rules, I merely twist them to suit my taste.
I do, on the other hand, write the breakfast rules. Don’t, mess, with my breakfast. You have been warned.
- 2 cups milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond; coconut or cow's would work well, too)
- 1 cup water
- sweetener to taste (I used 1 packet non-bitter stevia, but agave, raw sugar, honey, etc. would work fine, too)
- 1/4-1/2 tsp ground or fresh grated ginger (depending on preference)
- 1/4 cup cocoa or cacao powder
- pinch sea salt
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2-3 ginger candies (optional)
- Heat the milk and water in a medium saucepan. Once it comes to a simmer, reduce heat slightly and whisk in cocoa powder, sea salt and ginger. Whisk vigorously to incorporate.
- Once the cocoa is hot enough for your liking (about 3-5 minutes), remove from heat and add vanilla extract. Stir once more.
- Take your ginger candies and rub them along the rims of your serving glasses or mugs. Eat or discard; they get mushy when added to the beverage.
- Pour in hot cocoa and top with coconut cream, whipped cream or marshmallows - whatever you like.