07 February 2020

EARL GREY HOT CHOCOLATE

I am a great chocolate and citrus enthusiast, for desserts of all kinds, and Earl Grey, with its robust and aromatic essence, is a perfect pairing for a mug of hot chocolate. Especially served piping hot, over miniature marshmallows, and some more chocrocks or chocolate flakes.
For this recipe, I truly do prefer loose-leaf tea, because it allows the leaves to steep beautifully and release much more flavour compared to teabag steeping. One of life's simple pleasures is lifting the lid from the pot where the leaves were steeping, and being greeted with a unique aroma of Earl Grey, ready to be transformed into a gorgeous dessert.
By now, it is obvious that we like our hot chocolate thick, almost like a rich custard. If you prefer your chocolate a bit thinner, perhaps easier to enjoy served with a straw, do omit the cornflour, to adjust it to your taste. If you plan to serve it to the little ones, feel free to taste and adjust the amount of sugar, as they do tend to prefer less rich chocolate flavour.


Ingredients
500 ml whole milk
1 tablespoon loose-leaf Earl Grey tea
250 ml double cream
50 grams icing sugar
15 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
15 grams cornflour
100 grams cooking chocolate (50% cocoa solids), chopped
50 grams dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), chopped
½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
mini marshmallows, for serving

Preparation
Start by pouring the milk in a heavy-based pot and placing it over medium high heat. Let the milk heat up until it starts to scald. It should not come to a boil, just to warm up and start to steam. Once warm, remove it from the heat, sprinkle in the loose-leaf tea, cover it, and let it steep at room temperature for an hour. When the milk is ready, strain it to remove the leaves, and discard them. Add in the cream, sugar, cocoa powder, and cornflour. Whisk well so everything dissolves nicely, and place it over medium high heat.
As soon as the mixture starts heating up, start whisking gently, and keep whisking constantly for a few minutes, until it starts to bubble and thicken. It will resemble a thin chocolate custard. Once thickened, remove it from the heat, and immediately add in the chopped up chocolate. Let it stand for a moment, so the chocolate starts to melt, then whisk vigorously until it melts completely. Finally, mix in the vanilla. Immediately pour into four large hot chocolate mugs or glasses, decorate with miniature marshmallows, and serve. Yields 4 rich servings.

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