Cinnamon & Vanilla hot choc

We are having a quiet day at home – me working at my desk, my man – working on our house, my girl – intermittently reading and watching cartoons. It is sternly overcast (enough so, that we will have to power up the generator later on to boost our house batteries, as we aren’t getting enough sunshine via the solar), and it is cold in the house (not, however cold enough to light a fire). Earlier my girl asked after a hot chocolate, and as we used up the last of our stash yesterday – it was time to make some more. Yep. Home-made hot chocolate mix.

Hot chocolate mix is an item on a long list of items that I am unwilling to compromise on for quality and will not purchase it for loathing of added ‘flavours’ (why???), colours (nooo!), and preservatives (gah!)– Let alone the ubiquitous milk powder (yuck!). Last year I came up with this from-scratch mix – and I have to admit that the stash that we finished yesterday (it has been a chilly weekend), was from last year – so I can report that it holds up excellently when kept in a well-sealed container. I can say, however, that the fresh batch that we made and tested today, did taste somewhat fresher and we could also taste every delicious ingredient.

Years ago when I visited Spain I had the pleasure of visiting a chocolate museum and got to try an old fashioned hot chocolate – the way the Mayans would have prepared it. It was a very simple and stripped back version of our current sickly sweet standard of hot chocolate. It was full of natural chocolate flavour and a pleasing bitterness.

My home-made mix was inspired by this and contains just what it needs for deliciousness and balance – and sweetness too, without overwhelming. Feel free to play with the recipe though – it is just a guide. Mine is pumped up a little with some luxurious vanilla and cinnamon and a pinch of salt to balance it all. It is sweetened by the lovely dark and mysterious rapadura sugar (an unrefined evaporated cane sugar) rich with its trace minerals and iron and lovely molasses flavours.

This mix can also be a fabulous project to make with kids and it also makes a great mid-winter gift. You can add you own spin by including your favourite spices. The best thing though, is that if you make it – you know what is in it – and you know a little more about what you are putting into our body.

Aztec inspired homemade and naturally sweetened vanilla-cinnamon hot chocolate mix

Makes: about 2 cups delicious hot chocolate mix – which will last for ages in a well sealed container.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rapadura sugar
  • 1 cup natural organic cocoa powder
  • 100g naturally sweetened dark chocolate, roughly chopped (my favourite brand is Rapunzel, which I buy in bulk at my local organic store)
  • ½ vanilla bean, scraped, or ½ tsp vanilla powder (my favourite vanilla can be found here)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

Place all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until chocolate is fine. It’s ok if there are a few lumpy bits – these will just be yummy gooey chocolate in your drink.

Thermomix instructions: Add all ingredients to the Thermomix and blend speed 5 for 25 seconds.

To make hot chocolate:

Place 3 tablespoons hot chocolate mix into a small saucepan and add 1 cup of your favourite milk, and 1 cup of water (if using a nut milk, you could happily use 2 cups of nut milk and no water). Bring to a gentle simmer while whisking, then turn off the heat and pour into two mugs.