In Southern California, we’re blessed with a relatively mild and short winter season. Incredibly, while the rest of the country may still be under a blanket of snow, here it’s already warming up to the low 70s during the day. That doesn’t mean a nice, piping mug of hot chocolate isn’t welcomed in the early morning hours, or late at night (in my case, since I’m not much of a morning person).
Inspiration for this drink came from an amazing hot chocolate I had at a bar after a day of snowboarding at our local mountains. It was so incredibly rich, creamy, and comforting I found myself enjoying it more than the pale ale I had ordered for myself. After returning from my trip, I had to try recreating it at home.
For richness, I used whole chocolate instead of cocoa powder. I’m sure cocoa powder would have been fine, but the combination of bitter dark chocolate and creamy milk chocolate just seemed more indulgent and sinful. The addition of lavender was inspired by the lovely latte and waffles drizzled with chocolate lavender sauce from Café Medina. At this point you’re probably thinking, gross, I don’t want my hot chocolate smelling like soap. Trust me, with just the right amount, it’s wonderfully soothing and relaxing.
Give it a shot, and let me know what you think!
Since lavender is quite fragrant, adjust amount according to preference. For a creamier hot chocolate, a 1 to 1 ratio of dark to milk chocolate can be used. Makes 2 servings.
For whipped cream, place cold cream, vanilla, and sugar into a cold mixing bowl. Beat the mixture with a whisk or mixer until stiff peaks form. keep refrigerated until ready for use.
For hot chocolate, heat milk and lavender over medium heat, whisking occasionally until the milk begins to simmer. Remove from heat and let lavender steep for 5 minutes. Strain lavender and return milk to saucepan. Over medium heat, add chocolate and mix until chocolate is melted and incorporated. Whisk milk mixture for 10-20 seconds until frothy. Pour into mugs or bowls and serve with a dollop of whipped cream.