Monday, December 20, 2010

Tea-infused Hot Cocoa Recipe

Tea infused hot cocoa
I'm not much of a coffee drinker but I love hot chocolate and I love tea. I enjoy the richness of hot chocolate, but sometimes it's a bit too much. I certainly couldn't drink it everyday. I have tried quite a few chocolate flavored teas and while some of them are pretty good, I've discovered a more satisfying solution. I make hot cocoa with equal parts tea and milk.

On the surface this might seem like a weird thing to do, combining cocoa and tea but it's really quite delicious. I learned from chocolate authority Alice Medrich that the fat in dairy products coats your tongue so the flavor of chocolate is sometimes muted in very creamy preparations. She said you can make cocoa with hot water, but I have found that tea provides an amazing addition of flavor. I like a little bit of milk to add some texture. The result is a beverage that is richer and more viscous than tea and milk, but not quite as cloying as hot cocoa can be. In the Winter, I could drink it just about everyday!

The types of tea that work with chocolate vary. I've tried it with herbal, green and flavored black tea. I like it with Earl Grey, herbal peppermint tea, but my hands down favorite is with jasmine tea. I've had chocolate confections that were flavored with citrus, peppermint and jasmine so I was fairly certain each of those flavors would work nicely. But it's certainly worth more experimentation. There could be other types of tea that are wonderful with cocoa too maybe chai or vanilla tea? Let me know what types you try!

Note: The amount of cocoa will vary based on the brand you use. You want to use enough cocoa to make a cup, but replace part of the milk or water with tea. You could also use a sweetened cocoa if that's what you have on hand just adjust the sugar to your liking.

Tea-infused Hot CocoaMakes 1 serving

Ingredients

1 teaspoon tea or a tea bag
2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I am currently using Hershey's)
1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar, or to taste
1/2 cup milk (I use whole milk)

Instructions

Make a cup of strong tea as directed, use a little less than the usual amount of water, no more than 6 ounces. In a small saucepan whisk together the cocoa powder, sugar and a few tablespoons of brewed tea, to make a smooth paste with no lumps. Whisk in the milk and about 1/2 cup of tea. Heat gently until hot, but do not boil, serve.

Enjoy!