Chai Tea Infused Hot Chocolate On A Stick

The weather has improved over the last two weeks, and it’s been sunny every day, even though it’s still coldish because of the wind, and definitely nippy come late afternoon.  And where there is a mention of the word cold, there is a reason to have hot chocolate, in my opinion.

I don’t know if everyone knows chocolate on a stick or on a spoon.  The friend I conferred with as to which flavour to make didn’t actually know what I was talking about.  This stuff is usually sold as a thick square piece of chocolate with a wooden stick or spoon stuck in the middle.  You just pour hot milk over it and stir it in.  My friend requested whiskey & cream flavoured dark chocolate, so that’s what she got.  However, I like neither dark chocolate nor whiskey, so I thought I’d try milk chocolate with chai tea infused cream.

If you like both hot chocolate and chai tea, I urge you to try this – it’s absolutely delicious! It’s a real pity you can’t smell the pictures!

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Chai Tea Infused Hot Chocolate On A Stick

200 ml cream
300 g milk chocolate
50 g loose chai tea
wooden ice cream sticks
moulds of your choice

[The amount of chocolate sticks you’ll get out of this depends on the size of your moulds.  I used 20 ml plastic schnapps cups and ended up with 13.]

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Heat the cream until bubbles start to build on the surface, but don’t let it boil properly.  Add the loose chai tea and let infuse for about 45 minutes.

Pour the cream through a sieve into a container, squeezing out the tea by pressing a spoon onto it.  Discard tea.

Heat chocolate over a bain-marie.  When it’s completely molten, stir in the cream (preferably with a silicone spatula).  [If you haven’t done anything like this before – don’t be alarmed by the consistency changes the chocolate will go through!  It’ll get a bit harder to stir as you work in the cream, then it’ll get really lumpy, but the longer you stir the smoother it will become.]

Fill chocolate into moulds, put in a wooden ice cream stick, and leave to set.  Due to the cream the consistency will be softer than pure chocolate, so it’ll take a bit longer to set.  I put mine in the fridge, and it took about 2 – 3 hours.

These chocs on sticks make a great gift, and they look nice packed into little cellophane bags with self-made labels.

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A few helpful notes:
I  started out with 150 ml cream because I didn’t want the end product to become too soft.  However, by the time I checked the cream infusion the tea had almost completely soaked up the cream, so I added another 100 ml.  In the end I was able to squeeze out pretty much all of the cream from the tea when I sieved it, and I ended up using only 200 ml of this.  So I guess you could use 200 ml to begin with.

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When I filled the moulds, I made sure to vigorously tap the bottom of the moulds onto the work surface to get the chocolate to settle in them properly to avoid air bubbles.  This wasn’t entirely successful, so I had difficulties getting the chocolate out of the moulds.  I didn’t want to run a knife around inside the moulds in case I damaged the chocolates – I wanted to give them away – so I gently tapped the moulds with a hammer (which I can assure you is not part of my standard kitchen equipment…) and peeled off the plastic.  However, a day later I ran the rest of the moulds under a moderately hot tap (making sure the water didn’t get onto the chocolate, just the bottom of the moulds!) and was able to pull them out.

I was wondering before I started out what sort of moulds to use and couldn’t come up with a better idea than the schnapps cups.  Mini muffin cases wouldn’t be stable enough, ice cube trays wouldn’t be large enough.  But in the end the ones I used were perfect, as was the finished product – just perfect!

Update:  Just in case it isn’t clear from the description and pics – these are not chocolate lollies!  They’re to be stirred into hot milk until they dissolve.  Just saying this because some people I gave them to actually cut them up and ate them