As warm and comforting as traditional hot chocolate, this recipe is made with intense raw cacao powder and spices steeped in warm almond milk. Intensely bitter, dark and deeply flavored, cacao is strong medicine to keep both your spirits and energy high in colder months. It can give you quite a pleasant uplifting buzz, which I find gentler (and less shaky) than coffee. The sensory pleasures of making and sipping this drink always remind me of why the cacao plant has always been a sacred food and tool for ritual in the places it grows. It's magic, the mixing of bitter beans, sweet spices, a splash of sweetener, bound in creamy nutmilk. Enjoy.
Mix dry ingredients, cacao powder, spices, and salt, in a small bowl.
Heat wet ingredients, almond milk, maple syrup and vanilla extract, in a small pot over medium heat. Make sure it doesn't boil. You want a nice gentle warming, not a steady simmer here.
Add dry ingredients to almond milk, whisking mixture well until dry mix is thoroughly incorporated.Stir occasionally for about 5 minutes. This allows the cacao and spices to bloom and infuse together. It only takes a few moments for the steam and scents to make your kitchen into a scene from the movie Chocolat.
Take pot off the heat, and pour into two mugs... or maybe just one big mug. Up to you, Vianne Rocher.