Cardamom-Orange Hot Chocolate with Cardamom Whipped Cream

hot-chocolate

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.)

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Ginger-ade

I have a growing obsession with ginger. It’s a strong flavor, but I love it. Ginger ale is the only soda I still drink. Reed’s Ginger Brew or Bundaberg’s Ginger Beer are even better.

I tried making my own ginger ale after finding a recipe at An Hour in the Kitchen and I had whey leftover from making cheese. Then I tried a ginger beer recipe from a Caribbean cookbook I found at the library. Waiting for the proper chemical reactions to take place wasn’t my favorite, so I started experimenting.

I came up with something I call ginger-ade. It’s not ginger ale, ginger beer or ginger juice, but a very flavorful ginger drink. It’s ginger-infused water, mixed with honey and other fruit juices. And you don’t have to wait a few days for the mixture to ferment. (If you want bubbles though, add soda water.)

The recipe can be tweaked depending on your tastes and what you have on hand. I’ve made versions with orange juice, limeade and pineapple juice. However you do it, the result is a tangy, refreshing drink that’s a mix of citrus, spice and ginger. And it makes your stomach feel amazing.

Also see: Ginger Berry Ice Cream

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