Valentine’s Day or not, chocolate is one of my weaknesses. This is especially the case nowadays since every single market I visit is overloaded with heart-shaped treats just begging to dive into my basket as I peruse. I wish I had a stronger sense of self control, but I don’t—and I'm totally okay with that.
Now since Valentine’s Day coincides with this wintry time perfect for hot chocolate, I am sharing my recipe for this wonderfully fragrant rose and cardamom infused version of this delicious treat.
It was Beth Kirby from Local Milk who introduced me to the herbal, sweet, and complex flavor combination that is the union of cardamom and rose. They’re the perfect match for a season such as this, especially when infused into a warm cup of hot cocoa.
Rose & Cardamom Hot Chocolate
2 cups milk, soy milk, or any other milk alternative
2 1/2 tbs dried rose petals
7 lightly crushed cardamom pods
2 tbs granulated sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3 heaped tbs semi-sweet chocolate chips
rose water, see note below*
a bit of lightly sweetened whipped cream, to garnish
Equipment: small saucepan, fine-mesh sieve, whisk
Place the milk, rose petals, and crushed cardamom pods into the saucepan and set over medium heat. Once the milk is just beginning to simmer, immediately remove from heat, cover with a lid, and let everything steep for 20 minutes.
Strain the milk through a fine-mesh sieve into a measuring cup. Give the saucepan a quick rinse (only to remove any petals that may remain) then pour the milk back in and set over medium-low heat. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk together until smooth. Once the hot chocolate reaches the desired temperature, divide between two cups, top with whipped cream, and enjoy!
*if you find yourself wanting a more pronounced rose flavor, simply add the tiniest drop of rose water to the hot chocolate prior to serbing . This stuff is quite potent, so the tiniest of drops should do.