This month’s Recipe Redux theme is Adding Merriment to Mixes: From hostess gifts to holiday gifts, it’s the season for DIY offerings from your kitchen. And homemade mixes couldn’t be easier! I love finding something new each year to bestow upon my friends and family and this one is certainly a keeper.
My inspiration for this recipe came recently because I realized I used the last of our store bought hot chocolate mix one chilly evening. It hit me that it should be super easy to make my own, and better yet I can control the ingredients as well as add flavor. I’m a total Chai fanatic so it was one of the first thoughts that sprung to mind. The combination of the dark cocoa powder and the Chai spices is a match made in heaven, leaving just the faintest hint of heat on your tongue after it goes down.
Most surprising of all was my children’s reaction. Both of them loved it! I was worried the Chai flavor would be too much for them, but it is subtle enough that it just adds a depth of flavor to the dark chocolate. In fact, C ,who is ever so wary of anything spicy, declared it “Perfecto!” E is my chocoholic and of course guzzled it without a problem, smacking her lips and asking for more.
Also, the mix of spices I used to create the Chai flavor would be a wonderful present on its own. I made up a large batch separately from the hot cocoa mix and will be using it in a variety of ways this holiday season. If you use your own Chai spice mix, add 2 teaspoons to the recipe below.
- ⅔ cup dark cocoa powder
- ⅔ cup dry milk
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl and blend well. A pastry cutter or whisk may be used to help break up clumps.
- Store in an airtight container.
- To make hot chocolate, use 4-5 tablespoons of mix with 8 ounces of hot water or milk.