Cardamom-Orange Hot Chocolate with Cardamom Whipped Cream


I wish I could call it my secret ingredient, but I've never been able to keep my own secrets. I put ground cardamom in most things I bake. Pumpkin chocolate chip cake, oatmeal cookies, carrot cake, granola…

Then I found a recipe where the cardamom would be far from hidden.

I saw something called chocolate con leche y naraja y nata al cardamomo in a book about chocolate in a Buenos Aires bookstore. I didn't buy the book, nor could I full understand the Spanish, but I got the gist of the drink and decided to improvise my own at home.

Orange and chocolate isn't typically a combination I love, but in this drink with cardamom and cream, it's very welcome. I've made this a few times already for dessert. If there's anything more comforting than hot chocolate, it's this version.

(Which was difficult to photograph, by the way. Here I let the cocoa cool first so it wouldn't melt the whipped cream, but then the cream didn't all stay at the top of the drink, and some got covered in chocolate. A whipped cream dispenser would have helped, but it's not a gadget I would ever actually need.)

Cardamom-Orange Hot Chocolate with Cardamom Whipped Cream

Idea from a book I can't remember the name of, but the recipe and execution is all my own.

  • 4 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar, plus another tablespoon for whipped cream (or more depending on your taste)
  • 1 orange
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom (freshly ground seeds provide a much stronger flavor than the powder you might buy. I've never worked with whole green cardamom pods.)
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a pot over medium heat, whisk milk, cocoa powder, 1/4 cup of sugar (or more

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to taste) and one teaspoon of cardamom. Add zest of one orange (alternatively, cut the rind off in strips with a pairing knife, trying to get as little white as possible). Allow to heat slowly so the flavors can be infused and so the milk doesn't burn.

In a small mixing bowl, beat cream, 1 teaspoon of cardamom, 1 tablespoon of sugar (or to taste) and vanilla extract until soft peaks form. This happens easiest when the cream and bowl are very cold.
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Pour hot cocoa through a fine-mesh strainer into four mugs and top with whipped cream.


13 Replies to “Cardamom-Orange Hot Chocolate with Cardamom Whipped Cream”

  1. I love cardomom. I use it quite a bit also. I put it in bread. And I add it to white cake mix to doctor it up when I don’t have the time to bake from scratch.

    Orange and chocolate is classically awesome. (Baskin Robbins took my most favorite flavor off their list decades ago: Mandarin Chocolate Sherbet.)

    I’ve always thought cardomom had a citrusy flavor to it and would complement anything you’d use pair with citrus so adding it to a chocolate/orange anything is perfect. Why couldn’t I have thought of that?

  2. Alright, that’s enough! Your killing me here! I want this so bad! I too, am a cardamon nut. I find that it adds a special something to everything I put it in. I always add it to the cream cheese frosting on my carrot cake. I will most definitely be trying this one on a cold dark, raining, winter night. Thank you so much for “translating” for us!

  3. Marissa — Absolutamento! There is so much for you to taste when you come to Buenos Aires!

    mlaiuppa — Cardamom does seem to have a citrus flavor, doesn’t it? An orangey pepper is how I’d describe it to someone who hasn’t tried ground cardamom before. But yes, it’s perfect for sneaking into all sorts of baked goods.

    Dana Zia — I’ve put cardamom in carrot cake batter, but putting it in the frosting is a great idea!

  4. Woa, this sounds mind-boggling: love the combo of chocolate, cardamom and orange. Hope you are enjoying BA–I had the most amazing time there on my honeymoon.

  5. Michelle and I are here and drooling over this entry. And we just baked our own bread! So ha! (But I think it would have been better if you had helped us…it was…not entirely cooked…but good!) We miss you!!!

  6. This sounds like a great variation! It made me laugh because the way you are about cardamom I am about orange, lol. I might add a some espresso powder to mine as I’m faithfully committed to all things coffee.

  7. That looks delicious. I’m a sucker for cardamom whipped cream. I tried it last year in a fig and strawberry tart – I think this hot chocolate is the perfect application to try it again.

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