I have a problem with crowded places. Crowds in general, I guess. Being smooshed together with dozens of strangers(or familiar peeps, for that matter)in any place and situation is pretty much my worst nightmare. As if being a anti-social introvert wasn’t enough, lets add claustrophobia to the mix, right?
For this reason, I always have my Christmas shopping completed by Thanksgiving, at the latest. And no black Friday deal is amazing enough to get me into those crowded stores. Not even if they were offering free copper cookware.
I do know, however, that this is not the norm. I spent many Christmas Eve’s as a child watching my Dad run out for hours at a time to get “a few last minute gifts”, aka “95% of the gifts on his list”. And NO ONE wants to be shopping on Christmas Eve, yet there he was, year after year.
Amid the rushed Holiday frenzy, I thought you all could use a soothing hot drink. Lavender is one of my favorite soothing herbs and it has found its way into many a recipe on this blog, so naturally it has now worked it’s way into hot chocolate. Lavender Milk Hot Chocolate.
I used milk chocolate in this recipe and I highly recommend using a high quality brand. All chocolate is not created equal – Valrhona or Lindt are both good choices with good milk flavor that is not overpowered by the usual cloying sweetness found in cheap milk chocolates. You’ll need less sweetener in the hot chocolate since milk chocolate has a higher sugar content than dark. Since it’s not an overly rich chocolate flavor I find that it pairs nicely with the lavender – both shine equally.
I used lavender essential oil for this drink, but the recipe gives instruction for both oil and dried lavender since I know not everyone uses essential oils in cooking. I will say, however, that using lavender oil (food grade, if you can find it – doTERRA makes a good one) is a much easier method of adding lavender flavor to dishes as it is more potent(only 1 drop is needed for this recipe!) and it doesn’t have the bitter flavor that sometimes develops from steeping lavender buds.
More Hot Drinks?
- 1 cup Heavy Cream
- 1 cup Whole Milk
- 2 tablespoons + Maple Syrup
- ½ Vanilla Bean, split lengthwise
- ¼ teaspoon Sea Salt
- ½ teaspoon Dried Lavender Buds or 1 drop Lavender Essential Oil
- 4 ounces Milk Chocolate (use a high quality brand)
- Whipped Cream, to top (sweeten with maple syrup)
- Dried Lavender Buds, to garnish (optional)
- Place the cream, milk, maple syrup, vanilla bean, and sea salt in a saucepan and bring just to a boil. Remove from heat and whisk the dried lavender buds into the mixture, if using. If using essential oil, skip this step. Let steep for 10 minutes.
- Strain the hot chocolate through a fine mesh sieve and discard solids.
- Pour the hot chocolate back in to the same saucepan. Bring just to a simmer, then remove from heat.
- Add the chocolate to the saucepan and let sit for 1 minute. Whisk mixture until chocolate is melted and smooth. Add 1 drop of lavender essential oil, if not using dried lavender and whisk well.
- Taste hot chocolate and add more maple syrup if a sweeter drink is desired.
- Pour into mugs and top with whipped cream and sprinkling of lavender buds.