Hot Cacao with Turmeric
Every now and then, I get a mad craving for hot cocoa. There's something special about a warm cup of chocolate that makes you feel at once comforted and energised. Years ago, in 2006, Ben and I took a trip to Europe. It was January, and verrry cold. In between brisk walks along boulevards we'd duck into heated cafes and order huge, hot mugs of thick, rich, sweeeeeet cocoa. We would take off our gloves, hug our mugs close and as we sipped we would write in our travel journals and discuss whether to go out for dinner or wander the streets with nutella crepes. Occasionally we would ordering a baguette or pastry to share alongside our drink, but more often than not it was all about le chocolat chaud.
Back home we continue to make this drink regularly, though our version is a little different. Rather than using super processed cocoa powders or chocolate with added sugar, I reach for raw cacao and honey to go with the milk. That's it, three ingredients, warmed gently on the stove. It's heavenly.
Recently I thought of adding ground turmeric to the mix. This stunning ground spice (that always, always stains my bench tops) has become quite hip in the past few years, and understandibly so - it's super good for us, as many herbs and spices are. Indeed you may have tried turmeric lattes out at health-food cafes. I have, and I've found them to be strong and grainy and, quite honestly, a little offensive. If you feel similarly, rest assured I only add a tiny amount of turmeric to my cups, just enough to flavour, colour and give you that lovely, glowing, zing! Black pepper helps the body absorb curcumin, the goodness in turmeric, so be sure to add it to your cup. It doesn't taste as weird as it sounds. Anyway, I thought I'd include recipe for hot cacao with turmeric in addition to my usual hot cacao. I've also thrown in a turmeric milk for those occasions when *gasp* you don't feel like chocolate. Feel free to run with the spice vibe and add a little cayenne or chilli powder to your hot cacao. That sounds rad! A sprinkle of cinnamon or sea salt would be great too. So would a trip to Europe...I can just see Joan sitting in Parisian cafes, baguette in one hand and her face positively covered in hot chocolate. Ben, if you're reading, let's take our babe to France. I've got a mad craving for travel.
2 cups full cream milk*
1 heaped tablespoon raw cacao**
1/2 tablespoon honey***
* feel free to use non-dairy milks, but beware they are often sweeter, so I suggest you use less honey. They are also less creamy, so I cannot guarantee the drink will have the same satisfying feel as if you used full cream milk. ** this is a hefty portion of cacao (I add quite a heaping tablespoon). What can I say, I love it rich and chocolatey. Feel free to be more modest and use 1-2 teaspoons. *** this makes for a sweet cup. Feel free to use less. I am not a huge fan of the flavour of plain milk, so I mask it with an eager dose of honey and cacao.
Method: Add the milk to a saucepan and warm it gently over medium heat. When warm, add the cacao and honey and whisk until dispersed. Continue heating until it reaches your desired drinking temperature.
Serves 2 2 cups full cream milk 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric 1/2 tablespoon honey two cracks of black pepper, freshly ground
Method: Add the milk to a saucepan and warm it gently over medium heat. When warm, add the turmeric and honey and whisk until dispersed. Crack the pepper in and continue heating until it reaches your desired drinking temperature.
Hot Cacao with Turmeric
2 cups full cream milk
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons raw cacao
1/2 tablespoon honey
two cracks of black pepper, freshly ground
Method: Add the milk to a saucepan and warm it gently over medium heat. When warm, add the turmeric, cacao and honey and whisk until dispersed. Crack the pepper in and continue heating until it reaches your desired drinking temperature.