Lavender Hot Chocolate

There is something so soothing about a cup of hot chocolate — maybe it’s the memory of childhood or how festive it feels to drink it next to the fire. After a hard day’s work or listening to your girlfriend’s recent dating trial, serving a warm cup of hot chocolate is one of my favorite ways to settle down for the evening. To jazz it up, I like to infuse my hot chocolate with lavender, also one of my favorites.

Lavender is an herb used in aromatherapy to treat insomnia, restlessness, and depression. So aside from loving the delicate, dusty, floral scent, including it in my hot chocolate may offer an added relief.

I like to start with a high-in-fat cocoa (I’m pretty serious about my chocolate habit) like Penzeys Spices. Making hot chocolate from scratch lets you decide how much sugar you will be adding. While Penzeys Natural High Fat Cocoa and most cocoas give straightforward directions for preparing hot chocolate using their product, rest assured you can change proportions to your liking.

You will need:

  • saucepan

  • whisk

  • tea infuser, such a tea ball or other type of strainer

  • your favorite mug, and one for a friend

Recipe:

  • 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa

  • 4 cups milk (You can use whatever type of milk you prefer, but please do not use water. Hot chocolate should be creamy, in my opinion!)

  • 3 tbsp sugar

  • 1 tbsp dried lavender buds

Lavender_Coco

Place the lavender in your tea infuser and seal. It is best to use a tea infuser with a hook so you can hook it to the edge of your pan and leave it be. Heat the milk in the saucepan with the lavender-filled infuser immersed in the milk over medium heat, stirring so as not to scorch the milk on the bottom of the pan. Do so for 5 minutes, then remove the infuser. Add sugar and cocoa to the milk and whisk, ensuring that the cocoa breaks up and the milk doesn’t scorch. Low-medium to medium heat should be the highest you go. Taste, and add sugar or cocoa to your liking. Serve when ready!