In Jamaica any hot morning drink is called ‘tea’. We have for example, regular tea as well as coffee tea or hot cocoa tea aka hot chocolate tea. The cocoa seeds are dried, roasted, grounded and then rolled into balls. They can be found in your local Jamaican/West Indies market or sometimes the Caribbean section in the supermarket isle.
If you do not have either in your area, then use cocoa with the Jamaican spices. Traditionally, we spice up our hot chocolate tea with cinnamon leaf, cinnamon stick and pimento leaf . You can substitute pimento leaf with allspice berries and omit the cinnamon leaf. I also have an obsession with cardamom so I add a few pods for good measure. Even if you do not have these ingredients, trust me it will still be yummy.
In my recipe I chose non-dairy Coconut milk but once again feel free to substitute with oats, almond or the milk of your preference. Be warned, the addition of the coconut evaporated milk, condensed milk and rum cream makes this recipe rich.
It is not for the light of heart or the calorie counter. It is however a very yummy treat, whether you try the hot version to bring warmth and comfort during an extended Winter or the cold version to bring decadence to an early Spring.
A whole heaping of Love and Open Heartedness
2 balls of Jamaican chocolate*
2 cups of coconut milk
1 cinnamon stick
1 cinnamon leaf
2 cardamom pods (gently smashed in a mortar)
1 pimento leaf (optional) or 2-3 allspice berries
½ teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
1 can of Nature’s Charm (12.2 oz) coconut evaporated milk
½ can (approximately 5 oz) of Nature’s Charm coconut condensed milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
½ cup of Wray and Nephew rum cream or your preferred rum cream (optional)
Pinch of Himalayan salt
- Milk to chocolate ratio is 1:1
- Place coconut milk, cinnamon leaf, cinnamon stick, cardamom, nutmeg and pimento leaf in pot and place over a medium heat. Let warm
- Grate the chocolate balls finely.
- Once milk is hot, add grated chocolate to pot. Stir until chocolate is dissolved.
- Add can of coconut evaporated milk, condensed milk, and rum cream. Let warm.
- Add vanilla extract and salt. Mix gently
- Strain into cups.
- Garnish with cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg
- Optional garnish for Iced version: Coconut whipping cream
Ginger: Add sliced ginger to Step 1 and 1 tablespoon of ginger wine to Step 3.
Pimento: Add 2-3 pimento balls to Step 1 and ½ teaspoon of pimento liqueur
Cayenne: Add a dash of cayenne to Step 1
One more thing!
When you choose the Ice Hot Chocolate version, know the mix thickens when chilled. You make want to dilute it a bit with additional coconut milk or your milk of choice. Additional sweetening is to your taste.