At Cacao & Cardamom, owner and chocolatier Annie Rupani makes a luxurious European sipping chocolate that’s so decadent, it takes two to finish a single cup. Her secret? Keeping the base simple. “People get so crazy over needing to buy a hot cocoa kit, and hot cocoa is just chocolate and milk,” Rupani says, though that’s not to say you shouldn’t feel free to gussy it up.
Visiting Rupani’s Galleria-area store is a treat in itself: it’s the perfect place to score some seriously high-quality dark chocolate, the must-have ingredient for making the best hot cocoa at home. As for toppings and extras, there are marshmallows, of course, but Rupani also suggests pistachios, peppermint and cardamom. “Anything that’d go great with actual chocolate,” she says, “you can put into hot cocoa.”
Recipe: Cardamom European Sipping Chocolate
- 3 oz. 64 percent Manjari Chocolate, finely chopped
- 4 oz. whole milk
- 1 t. freshly ground cardamom seeds
- 1/4 whole vanilla bean
- Optional: 1 T. brown sugar
- Heat milk, vanilla bean and cardamom in medium saucepan.
- Bring milk to a boil. Turn off stove, cover pot and allow to steep for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Remove vanilla bean and begin heating milk again.
- When milk is warm, whisk in chocolate, stirring until melted and steaming hot.
- Add brown sugar if desired.
- Serve warm.
Optional: top with your favorite marshmallows or homemade whipped cream.
Three (More) to Try Around Town:
- The frozen hot chocolate at The Chocolate Bar for those temperate winter evenings.
- The classic hot chocolate (that will taste better than your childhood memories) at Common Bond, made with Valrhona's best Madagascar chocolate and whole milk.
- The hot chocolate made from house-ground cocoa beans at Hugo’s for when you want a double dessert: it comes with hot, sugary churros.