When and Why
It was a slow, family Sunday and outside there was wintery sun sitting low on the horizon, against a blue sky for a change. Temperatures were hovering around freezing and frost stayed put in those corners of the garden where Winter sun never reaches.
The children were flying their gliders for first time and after a solid hour in the open air, our fingers were numb and stiff. There was only one thing left to do to warm us up after we returned from the park. We were going to prepare a hot cacao! Decadent, rich in spices and lusciously frothy.
I put a pot on, pour in about a glass of water, add a quill or two of cinnamon, a pinch of allspice, a bit of nutmeg and few dashes of Angostura bitters and let in simmer for a few minutes. The simmering water allows the spices' flavours to come out and blend well. In the meantime, I prepared a coconut cream. I need a box of soft and thick coconut cream.
I blended it with water until it was velvety smooth, taking care not to make it too watery, because I like my cacao creamy. Returning to the simmering water, it was high time to add two tablespoons of Van Houten cacao, few drops of raw cacao butter and blend it gently with prepared coconut cream. I brought it to boil while whisking it gently to create a bit of froth. At the end I added a pinch of Guerande fleur de sel to intensify the cacao and spice flavours. Voilà, the cacao is ready to serve!
You can sweeten it liberally with honey - natural and particularly beneficial during cold winter days. The Van Houten cacao has velvety texture and I find that adding a sprinkle of fleur de sel elevates its taste. I cannot think of anything more luxurious and appeasing cold fingers and toes on such a cold cold Sunday!