2013/01/06

Cinnamon Hot Chocolate

Once Upon a Time has made hot chocolate with cinnamon famous but I have been drinking it that way for years before the show first aired.

First couple of times I made hot chocolate with cinnamon I made the mistake of using ground cinnamon. Ground cinnamon in drinks does not work very well, since it's powdery people assume it will dissolve in water- it does not. Ground cinnamon in water is slimy, it's gritty, it will float on the surface where you can inhale it. If you accidentally inhale ground cinnamon it is only slightly more pleasant than accidentally inhaling ground pepper. If you still cannot imagine what that is like go to your spice rack, pop open a few bottle and stick your nose in. When you regain your breath and your vision clears come back here and read about how to make cinnamon hot chocolate that is not terrible.

What you need:
  • Cinnamon - at least one stick or a teaspoon of cinnamon chips (preferred - not the cinnamon chips you use for baking scones but chipped cinnamon bark) or ground cinnamon
  • Favorite hot cocoa mix - or whatever cocoa mix you have in your house
  • 2 mugs
  • 8+ oz of freshly boiled water
  • Tea strainer or something to strain out the cinnamon bits

Cinnamon sticks are probably the easiest to use, not just for hot chocolate but also hot apple cider, just put the stick in with the hot liquid, the longer it sits in there the stronger the cinnamon taste, just take the stick out when it's as strong as you like or drink it with the cinnamon stick still in there.

 
Cinnamon tea
I found an even better way to make cinnamon hot chocolate, I start off by making cinnamon tea. You might be able to make cinnamon tea with ground cinnamon, but straining will be messy. I got a good deal on cinnamon chips. Take 1 rounded teaspoon of cinnamon (more if you want it stronger, but 1 tsp was enough for me)  and add a cup (approximately 8 oz) of freshly boiled water. Let it steep for at least ten minutes, I once let it steep overnight and it was awesome.

Cinnamon hot chocolate
 If you have a tea strainer like I do just take out the cinnamon chips and pour it over the cocoa mix in a second mug. Whatever you do strain out the cinnamon before you add it to the cocoa mix - it'll be a sticky mess to strain the cinnamon out after mixing it in the cocoa. If you like adding milk and marshmallow to your cocoa go for it. A creamier cinnamon hot chocolate might be possible by steeping the cinnamon in hot milk but I can only imagine what a mess that will make and have not yet attempted to try it.

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