This chai hot chocolate combines the aromatic punch of a chai latte with the creaminess of a hot chocolate. Rich and spicy, it's a comforting drink perfect for cosying up on a cold day. It takes less than 15 minutes to make, meaning you'll be sipping it from a big mug in no time!
This spiced hot chocolate builds upon the popular chai latte, which consists of steamed milk mixed with a chai mix paste. We made our chai spice blend from scratch and boiled it in coconut milk drink. A dusting of cocoa powder and few squares of melted dark chocolate, and there you have it: a chocolatey delight with an energising, spicy kick.
Chai hot chocolate, like chai latte, is inspired by the classic Indian "masala chai". Masala means "mix of spices", while chai is the Hindi word for "tea", which derives from the Chinese word cha ("tea"). More commonly known as chai tea, masala chai is one of India's most popular beverages and a world-famous hot drink.
Chai tea is traditionally made by boiling water and milk with Assam black tea, sugar, and a blend of spices. This spice mix, called karha, usually includes cardamom, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, and peppercorns. Some recipes also use other ingredients like star anise, fennel, nutmeg, vanilla, chillies and even rose petals.
In our recipe, we opted for the basic karha blend and then added fennel seeds for extra aroma, but you can use star anise if you fancy. We infused the whole spices and seeds in simmering milk using a cheesecloth bag and then removed it before adding the cocoa and chocolate.
To make this spicy chocolate dairy-free and vegan, we used coconut milk drink instead of cow milk. It's thicker than other plant-based alternatives like almond or soy milk, making the chocolate even creamier. Make sure to use the chilled drink and not the tinned milk, which is more concentrated and higher in fats.