This post is your introduction to my latest indulgence and your induction into something special. So special, in fact, that it took me three attempts to bring you a picture — because I kept drinking it too quickly to photograph!
I have spent a few glorious minutes of the last two cold Perth nights curled up on the couch with my latest invention: raw hot chocolate. Even with my changing tastebuds [we’re now into Day 12 of our 28 days], I know that this is darn good.
It took me a while to unstick myself from my nutty nog, which I still enjoy so much, and I only did so because I felt I had to really; in the ritual of making and drinking this latest creation, I answered a primal calling.
Recipe #133: Hot Chocolate in the Raw. This is a Thermomix (TM) recipe that also uses a nut milk bag and thermometer, however you can easily adapt this for blender + saucepan on the stove, just watch the temperature of your milk carefully as you heat it. Makes 4 regular mugs’ worth of deliciousness.
You will need:
► 2 cups of almonds, soaked overnight
► 4 cups of water
► 2 heaped tbsp of cacao powder [Warning: this gives a full-on chocolate hit. If you’re in any way unsure, I recommend starting with 1 tbsp and adding more to taste.]
► seeds scraped from ½ of a vanilla pod
► ¼ cup of agave syrup [or you could use panela, rapadura]
► ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
► 1/8 tsp chilli powder
► a good grating of nutmeg
► a good pinch of salt
► a relaxed and loving attitude [seriously, it makes a difference!]
First, make the nut milk. Blend together the pre-soaked almonds and water [TM: 30 seconds on speed 8, then 30 seconds on speed 10]. Strain into the TM bowl through a nut milk bag.
>Don’t discard the leftover almond meal! You can stir it into your chia porridge, add it to your next protein bar mix, or add some seeds and dehydrate it into muesli.
Next, add all the other ingredients to the TM and set to 5 minutes, 50°C and speed 5. Note that you are only aiming to heat the milk to ~46°C. In my experience this occurs sometime between 2 and 2½ minutes, so check progress with your thermometer every 15 seconds or so once you reach the 1½ minute mark.
To complete the experience, pre-heat your mugs to 46°C for a few minutes in your dehydrator before pouring your hot chocolate.
This is a very rich drink that you can tone down by adding less cacao powder or more plain nut milk. And you really do have to trust me on the chilli powder. It’s just enough to add a little more warmth without creating spicy heat.
This flavour explosion truly hit the spot for me. It’s a shoulder to snuggle into, a hug from the inside out, a lazy hour reading by an open fire. Enjoy!