(The Nosher via JTA) — Brrrr, it’s cold outside. But we know exactly what you need to warm up: some spicy, hawaij hot cocoa.
Hawaij is an important, if not nearly sacred, Yemenite spice blend. It’s one of the most important ingredients in Yemenite cooking, with both savory blends using coriander, turmeric and cumin for soups, or ginger, cardamom and cinnamon for coffee. You can make your own blends or buy hawaij in specialty spice stores or online.
This hot cocoa was so delicious with cinnamon whipped cream, and it had the perfect amount of spice to warm up on even the coldest days.
Hawaij Hot Cocoa with Cinnamon Whipped Cream
For the hot cocoa:
2 cups milk
1 ounce dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks (can also use leftover Hanukkah gelt)
1 scant tablespoon cocoa powder
1-2 teaspoons hawaij spice blend (see below)
2 tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt
cinnamon sticks for garnish (optional)
For the hawaij spice blend:
1 1/2 tablespoons ground ginger
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground clove
For the whipped cream:
2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
To make the hawaij mix, combine all ingredients in a small bowl. It can be stored in airtight container.
To make cinnamon whipped cream, combine all ingredients in a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. You can also place ingredients in large bowl and use a hand mixer. Place mixer on low setting for 1 minute, then increase to high for 2-3 minutes until whipped cream begins to form stiff peaks.
To make hot cocoa, place milk, sugar and chocolate chips/pieces in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk until chocolate begins to melt.
Add cocoa powder, 1-2 teaspoons hawaij spice mix and pinch of salt. Continue to whisk until all chocolate is melted, spices are incorporated and milk just begins to simmer.
Remove from heat. Add hot cocoa to mugs. Top with whipped cream and garnish with cinnamon sticks if desired.
Shannon Sarna is the editor of The Nosher. Aly Miller is the editorial assistant of The Nosher.