Earlier this week I posted a spicy hot cross bun smoothie recipe to celebrate spring for the northern hemisphere, so now I post a hot chocolate to commiserate with my fellows in the south as winter looms around the corner. This is a super healthy, rich drink that’s so thick you can eat it with a spoon (as I did). The ingredients are very similar to the smoothie but just geared for fluffy socks and tasseled hats. Still, there’s nothing that stops anyone from sitting in front of a fan with this drink in hand 🙂
A lot of my favourite memories from back in the day when I was a globetrotter with my diplomat dad revolve around food (big surprise). When we moved to Italy I had the shock of my life when ordering a hot chocolate because what was served to me wasn’t a frothy thin hot drink but something absolutely magical: a thick chocolate pudding-type dish that I ate with a spoon. A spoon.
Even Man-thing has now tasted something similar when my dad’s wife melted chocolate bars and milk together for him on the stove, and honestly, who doesn’t want a hot, thick pudding with all the charm of chocolate and all the health benefits of wholesome ingredients?
Spiced hot cross bun hot chocolate (serves 1):
- 1 cup non-dairy milk of choice (start at one and work your way up depending on the strength of your blender)
- 1/8 cup buckwheat flour
- 2 tsp cacao powder or high quality cocoa
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- small pinch cayenne (adjust to taste)
- A few drops NuNaturals Liquid Stevia Orange/orange essence
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp blackstrap molasses
- Sweetener to taste (such as a Stevia packet)
- In a pot whisk together your hot chocolate ingredients in a small non-stick pot and heat up over medium heat, stirring occasionally until it starts to slowly bubble and thicken – approx 4 minutes.
- Lower temperature and keep stirring for a few more minutes then remove
- Serve immediately!
Yay! I love the taste of buckwheat, but you can easily use flax powder instead, depending on what you have on hand. Basically any delicious thickener should do, but buckwheat has a really intense, earthy taste that, combined with the blackstrap molasses especially, is just spectacularly easy but effective as an ingredient. It really adds to the hot cross bun flavour spectrum which I love so dearly. This is a perfect alternative for people who aren’t so crazy about the actual original baked good itself or hate raisins or whatever, or are in any case not bothered to travel out especially to the shops in this busy time of year just to satisfy a singular festive craving.The closer we jazz into winter here the more my mind goes into comfort food overdrive, and it’s especially then that these food memories become powerful and I look to the past for inspiration. These days roasted zucchini and blender soup are high on my list of goodies that bring glee to my gut and satisfy my soul, but sometimes you just want to kick back and really go to town (in the laziest possible way). What I adore about this hot cross bun flavoured hot chocolate is that it’s so easy and simple, but in less than 15 minutes I’m time-travelling and in love with the vast array of alternate ingredients available to me, even now, years later, as a more health-conscious vegan who still wants to enjoy the fun and flavourful things in life.
What are your typical Easter dishes in your country?