This unique Earl Grey Cream Hot Chocolate recipe offers a twist on the classic hot chocolate, infusing it with the distinctive citrus notes of Earl Grey. Perfect for cozy winter evenings or festive gatherings, this indulgent drink is a delightful way to warm up during the holiday season. We suggest using our Earl Grey Cream, but our Classic, Lavender, and Royalty Earl Grey loose leaf tea blends are also exceptional for hot chocolates.
Earl Grey Cream Hot Chocolate Recipe
- Steep the Tea: In a medium saucepan, heat the milk over medium heat until it begins to simmer. Remove from heat and add the Earl Grey tea. Let steep for 5 minutes, then strain.
- Mix the Chocolate: Return the saucepan to low heat. Whisk in the cocoa powder or chocolate, sugar, and a pinch of salt until well combined and the mixture is smooth.
- Serve: Pour the hot chocolate into mugs. Top with whipped cream, and if desired, garnish with chocolate shavings or a sprinkle of cinnamon for an extra festive touch.
- Enjoy: Savor your Earl Grey Cream Hot Chocolate on a cold day, ideally with a good book or a cozy blanket!
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10 Ways to enhance this Earl Grey Cream Hot Chocolate:
1. Swap the Milk:
The key to a tea-flavored hot chocolate is steeping the loose leaf tea in not-quite boiled milk. When selecting milk for this recipe, consider the fat content. Whole milk is often preferred for its richness and its ability to carry flavor, which helps the nuanced notes of Earl Grey hold its own against the more robust flavors of cocoa and chocolate. If you are using low-fat or plant-based milks, consider increasing the amount of tea used while steeping to ensure the same amount of earl grey is carried through to the final mix. Plant milks also lend a unique flavor profile to the hot chocolate, with almond milk adding a nutty undertone, soy providing creaminess, and oat milk offering a naturally sweet, smooth texture. Milk steeped with tea can also be prepared ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
2. Upgrade the Cocoa:
As for the cocoa, opting for high-quality cocoa powder is crucial. The depth and intensity of the cocoa flavor are central to this recipe. A dark, unsweetened cocoa powder generally works best, as it balances the sweetness of the milk and the floral-citrusy aroma of the Earl Grey. If you are using chocolate, aim for a high quality semi-sweet chocolate and consider reducing additional sweeteners.
3. Get Creative with Sweeteners:
Now, let's talk about sweeteners. While sugar is the most common option for hot chocolate, there are numerous alternatives that can add an interesting twist. Honey, for instance, can impart a floral sweetness that pairs wonderfully with Earl Grey, while maple syrup can add a hint of autumnal richness. For those watching their sugar intake, stevia or erythritol are suitable substitutes.
4. Add Some Spice:
Enhancing an Earl Grey hot chocolate with spices can elevate it to a whole new level. A pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg can complement the bergamot's citrusy flavor, and a very small dash of vanilla extract can round out the chocolate's richness without overwhelming the Earl Grey's more delicate flavors. These additions are optional, but they can create a more complex and layered drinking experience.
5. Think about Toppings:
Serving this Earl Grey hot chocolate is an opportunity to get creative. For a luxurious touch, top it with a dollop of whipped cream, a sprinkle of cocoa powder, or even a few chocolate shavings. Those who enjoy a bit of texture might like to add marshmallows. And for a festive twist, garnish with a cinnamon stick or a strip of orange zest, which can highlight the Earl Grey's citrus notes. A sprig of mint can add an aromatic experience, and a rim of chocolate with crushed peppermints will wow any guest. If you can't decide which toppings to go with, you can always set up an array of them in a hot chocolate bar for each guest to select their own.
6. Make it Kid-friendly:
Use Decaf Earl Grey Tea for a child-friendly version of this comforting drink.
7. Or Just for Adults:
Transforming this hot chocolate into an adult beverage is simple: add a splash of bourbon, rum, or orange liqueur. These spirits can complement the tea and chocolate flavors, creating a sophisticated, warming cocktail perfect for holiday gatherings.
8. Pair it with Holiday Treats:
This hot chocolate pairs wonderfully with classic holiday treats like shortbread, gingerbread, or biscotti. Candied oranges can echo the Earl Grey's citrus notes, while graham crackers offer a comforting, nostalgic crunch.
9. Use Special Drinkware:
Serving this hot chocolate in unique or festive drinkware can elevate the experience. Whether it's a holiday-themed mug or elegant china, the choice of vessel can make the moment more memorable.
10. Set the Scene:
Take a moment to set the scene when enjoying this hot chocolate, whether that means lighting a crackling fire, gathering family and friends in to share, or getting cozy with a book in a snug corner. Whichever way you choose to make your hot chocolate, we hope you take the time to appreciate the small joys, like a warm mug on a cold day, and the pleasure of sharing something homemade and heartfelt with friends and family.
And that's it! How do you like to enjoy your hot chocolate? Have you ever tried steeping in tea in milk for your hot chocolate recipes?