Chocolate Chai

for sweethearts

I just wrote about chai but you're going to be super thankful I'm doing it again because I JUST MADE THE BEST THING EVER AND YOU SHOULD TOO.  

It's Chai Tea but it's VALENTINE'S DAY which is a really super great day, and so I dumped a bunch of chocolate into it.  And it's insane off the hook so freaking good.

First up I know everyone thinks that I only like Valentine's Day because I have a super cheesy Valentine who does things like get me a sparkling puppy card.  So I counter with- but I liked it when I was single too- and they come back at me with  the fact that when I was last single I was like 20 and who doesn't love being 20 + single + living in Montreal with their best friend?  (I really, really loved it by the way)

But I liked Valentine's Day when I was in high school too.  Back when the other girls were getting roses and nobody wanted to date me and I really wanted a boyfriend but that was never, ever going to happen.  I have many diary entries from those years that were very sad + angsty.  But even then I couldn't figure out what the point of being sad over a silly holiday was, especially when the point of the holiday was love.  So I wore pink + red together + ate the chocolates my mom gave me + left Valentines in my best girl's lockers.  I made it my own because a day about love is worth celebrating.

My adult musings on Valentines today were-

I love to celebrate Valentine's Day because it's a day to celebrate love.  To me love is so, so much more than being in a couple.  Love is sharing in each others joys + sorrows.  Love is a text message from a friend saying "I miss you."  Love is a group of friends walking through Sunrise Hastings holding balloons and it's a mass group of people marching today to express compassion, community, and caring for all women in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, Unceded Coast Salish Territories (I went to the march today.) It's a grandma being really cool about her granddaughter coming out.  It's late night laughter + Skype dates when feeling lonely + email links to job postings.  It's acts of kindness + resistance.  I'm so lucky to love + be loved by so many different people in so many different ways. 

i love love

and it's what keeps me going when the world is being shitty.

But Valentines is also a day for adding chocolate to things, and wearing pink + sparkling nail polish + heart shaped jewelry + pink + red at the same time, so-

here's that chocolate chai i promised

To make it just like me you're going to need 

  • 2 cups of water
  • 3/4 cup 1% milk
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • a big chunk of fresh ginger 
  • a few grinds of pepper
  • a nicely sized spoonful of white sugar
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • 2 pinches of fennel seeds
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 Tetley tea bag
  • 1 1/2 heaping tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • dark chocolate
  • a love mug
  • a tea strainer
  • a pot
  • a mortar + pestle
  • a love of love
  • a love of wild abandon when it comes to following instructions

Here's the instructions if you want to make it just like me

Peel and cut the ginger.  I cut it into strips about 1/2 cm wide and and an inch long (I'm Canadian I use both systems) and ground some of it in my mortar + pestle.  Grind the fennel, cloves + cardamom until the cardamom pods pop.

Put on the water to boil with all the ingredients except the milk.  Once it's boiling lower to a simmer and simmer for 15 minutes.  Tidy the house while you wait.  Or paint your nails.  Or eat the extra chocolate.  Or if you can, do all three.  

Add the milk and boil it 3 times, each time it boils up to the top of the pot remove it from the heat until it goes down then put it back on the heat.  Strain into your cup and then top with peeled chocolate (I took a bar of dark chocolate and used a peeler to make the flakes for the top.)

Yeah that's it.  It's exactly the same as last time but this time it has ADDED cocoa powder + chocolate + a love mug. 

i also got flowers though.  

not just a puppy card.  

After I finished my hot chocolate Kerri of Rogue Florist dropped off a bouquet for me on behalf of my lovely Valentine (thanks K) and as per usual she included the most lovely ranunculus for me (I heard she's in the habit of saving the best one just for me.)

do you even see this ranuculus?

Also my nails are dope

I'm sure you were admiring my nails so thought I would just throw in a mention of them as well.  I painted them with a base coat, used some washi tape to mark a straight line across my nail and then painted the top with glitter polish.  Once almost dry I pulled the tape off (I wanted it to still be wet enough that it would come off without a fight, but dry enough to not drip)  I'm loving it.  

And for the picante Valentine

Next time I'm adding a dash of chili powder to the chocolate chai!  An Indian-Mexican fusion tea-chocolate.  

happy valentines day + love + chocolate forever friends!