Lavender Hot Chocolate with Homemade Whipped Cream

 

lavender week

 

On this day last year: White Bean Hummus with Lime, Parsley, and Cilantro (2014)

Lav. Hot Cocoa

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One of my very nerdy culinary dreams is to have a beautifully organized and fully stocked spice rack. I know that sounds silly, but it’s true. Ever since I started cooking I have drooled over the magnetic spice racks, the ones you label yourself, with all the little bottles. I’m truly revealing my inner organized nerd.

One of the spices I have always wanted to have in my stock, is a little jar of dried lavender buds. Lavender is a very affordable herb, but takes real intentionality to get. You are not likely to find it at your regular grocery store, unless you shop at Whole Foods!

I think part of the reason I wanted a little jar of lavender in my reserve, is due to its’ rarity. I had never tasted anything lavender flavored before! And who doesn’t want to incorporate edible flowers into their meal- helloooo?!

Thus, despite the fact that my little rented kitchen does not have an organized spice rack, yet, I have decided to bust the secrecy of this fragrant herb through a series of lavender food posts.

So, hold onto your apron, because this week is bringing you a series of scrumptious, sweet, and fragrant lavender meals!

On your mark, get set, lavender!

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Ingredients:

  • ½ cup cold heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ Tablespoon sugar
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 ounce dark chocolate (70% cacao)
  • 3 Tablespoons milk chocolate (I used chocolate chips!)
  • ¼ teaspoon lavender buds

Homemade Whipped Cream

  • ½ cup cold heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ Tablespoon granulated white sugar

Directions:

  1. In a medium sized bowl, combine the cold cream, vanilla, and sugar. Beat with a hand mixer on high until stiff peaks form (should take a few minutes!). Refrigerate until read for use.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat the milk and lavender buds over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the milk begins to simmer.
  3. Remove the saucepan from heat and allow the milk and lavender buds to steep for five minutes.
  4. Strain the lavender buds from the milk, and return the milk to the saucepan. Stir in the chocolate and continue stirring until the chocolate is melted and fully incorporated.
  5. Whisk milk mixture until frothy, about 20 seconds.
  6. Prepare the whipped cream by beating the cold cream, vanilla, and sugar with a hand mixture in a small bowl, until stiff peaks form. Keep refrigerated until ready to use, and then add a dollop of whipped cream to each mug, and sprinkle with a few lavender buds! Enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: a la mode
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious hot chocolate recipes from A Rented Kitchen (Recipe Links found below!)

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate

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Well, this is the final post in my holiday hot chocolate series. I am not going to lie, I’ve kind of gotten used to my daily afternoon dose of homemade hot chocolate.  I have had so much fun making these delicious recipes- each time serving up just enough for each member of my family that was home at the time.

Something about a warm drink in the winter exudes a sense of comfort and safety.  You can wrap your fingers around that mug and feel some of the day’s stresses slip away.

I’m a firm believer in chasing what brings you joy, in slowing down for the little things that matter, and in taking at least a minute for yourself. I hope these recipes give you a sense of enjoyment, a chance to try something new, and a little bit of that comfort and safety that we all long for- especially around the holidays.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, from my rented kitchen to yours!

Also, don’t miss the other hot chocolate flavors of the week- links found below!

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‘Tis The Season’: Hot Chocolate Series Review:

Day One: Pumpkin Hot Chocolate

Day Two: Ginger Hot Chocolate

Day Three: Coconut Hot Chocolate

Day Four: Mexican Hot Chocolate

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Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups milk
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 6 Caramel Hershey Kisses
  • Optional topping: Whipped Cream, caramel syrup, sea salt, marshmallows

Directions:

  1. Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Once warm, whisk in the sugar, cocoa powder and salt until completely blended.
  3. Finally, stir in the Hershey kisses just until melted, and remove from heat.
  4. Suggested topping: Whipped cream with a caramel drizzle and a dash of sea salt! An alternate to this would be to drizzle caramel sauce along the inside walls of your mug before pouring in the cocoa! Have fun with it.

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: A Rented kitchen
  • Don’t miss the other delicious hot chocolate recipes, posted above!

 

 

Mexican Hot Chocolate

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There’s a little place in Asheville, NC called the Chocolate Lounge. If your heart just fluttered at the sound of that name, I’m right there with ya. The Chocolate Lounge is a little dessert bar that sells nothing but every variety of chocolate imaginable. It’s essentially heaven, but with more people.

The Chocolate Lounge has a sipping chocolate beverage that utilizes a lot of the flavors commonly added to Mexican Hot Chocolate. Thus, ever since my first introduction to the Chocolate Longue, and my first sip of that delicious beverage, I have been itching to try my own hand at Mexican Hot Chocolate.

I am not sure why it has taken me so long, but consider this my little gift to you on this cold and dreary Sunday morning. With a little kick of spice and the smooth chocolatey flavor, it is bound to wake you and get ya going!

‘Tis The Season’- Hot Chocolate Series Review:

Day One: Pumpkin Hot Chocolate

Day Two: Ginger Hot Chocolate

Day Three: Coconut Hot Chocolate

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch (optional thickener)
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon chipotle powder or chili powder
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of cayenne
  • 1/8 – ¼ cup chocolate chips
  • Dash of sea salt
  • optional toppings: whipped cream, marshmallows, chocolate syrup, dash of sea salt!

Directions:

  1. Combine all the ingredients, apart from the chocolate chips, in a medium saucepan.  Heat over medium high heat, stirring frequently (you don’t want to burn your milk!)
  2. Once smooth, add the chocolate chips and quickly whisk in until melted.
  3. Remove from the heat and top with whipped cream, mallows, a cinnamon stick, and/or chocolate syrup! Enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Aapted from: Gimme Some Oven
  • Serving Suggestion: I suggest topping your Hot Chocolate with whipped cream and then a dash of sea salt. The saltiness really brings out the sweet flavors and will satisfy your every craving!

Coconut Hot Chocolate

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Alright, I have to admit, it is very possible that I am having too much fun with this hot chocolate series. The recipes are all so simple, and the result is I am required to drink a cup of hot chocolate every day. What’s not to love?!

As I started researching hot chocolate recipes last night, I was overwhelmed by the immense flavor options possible.  I had a moment of weakness where I thought I may never end this series, but decided that you all may not appreciate the lack of variety.  Thus, I will stop with a total of five hot chocolate posts for this series, but I promise- you’re going to want to see all of them!

I decided to pick this recipe, because I find the combination of coconut and hot chocolate to be extremely refreshing. Hopefully you enjoy it as much as I did, and as always, have fun tweaking it to your preference!

Love, A Rented Kitchen

‘Tis the Season’- Hot Chocolate Series Review:

Day One: Pumpkin Hot Chocolate

Day Two: Ginger Hot Chocolate

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Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 15-ounce can coconut milk
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Bring 1/3 cup of water to a boil (I suggest using a tea pot).
  2. Whisk the cocoa into the water and set aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine the coconut milk, brown sugar and salt. Heat on medium-low, allowing for the milk to simmer, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
  4. Whisk in the cocoa and vanilla until smooth.
  5. Top with whipped cream, toasted coconut, or marshmallows!

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Notes and Tips!:

Ginger Hot Chocolate

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To say I’m a hot chocolate fan would be an understatement. I am such a chocolate addict, that no matter the season, you can find me sipping on some hot chocolate. It’s embarrassing really.

Despite my huge love of this delicious beverage, I have never tried my hand at making homemade hot chocolate.  I’m on a mission to change that.

Thus, for the next few days, I am going to be posting several new and delicious homemade hot chocolate recipes. Yesterday I posted Pumpkin Hot Chocolate (AKA Christmas in a Cup!), and tomorrow I’ve got some delicious Coconut Hot Chocolate coming your way!

However today, I present to you, Ginger Hot Chocolate. I am not one of those people that loves to chew on candied ginger, so I was a little concerned I would not like this recipe, but it was delicious! By using cocoa powder at the chocolate source, this recipe has a slightly darker and more bitter taste than the Pumpkin Hot Chocolate, which used melted chocolate chips.  The ginger taste was there, but it was not overwhelming. Instead, there’s a little salty kick in every delicious sip.

If you love dark chocolate, ginger, and/or sea salt- this drink is for you.

Enjoy, and make sure you check back tomorrow for the next scrumptious hot chocolate recipe!

Love, A Rented Kitchen

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Ingredients:

  • 3 cups milk (soy, almond, dairy- your choice!)
  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger (more if you really love ginger!)
  • ¼ cup cocoa or cacao powder
  • Generous pinch of sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2-3 ginger candies (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, heat the milk until warm.
  2. Whisk in the cocoa powder, sea salt and ginger until smooth and fully incorporated.
  3. Once the milk is hot enough, remove the pot from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
  4. Rub a ginger candy along the rims and inside of your mugs and then fill with the cocoa. (I do not advise leaving the candy in the mug, as it will get mushy and weird).
  5. Optional: top with whipped cream or marshmallows! Enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Yield: 2 Servings
  • Source: Minimalist Baker
  • The original recipe called for  2 cups milk and one cup water. I used 3 cups of milk and no water, just because I read it hastily and measured it out incorrectly. However, it tasted fine that way! Thus, do whatever you prefer!