For the Chai Milk Chocolate Ganache
- 4 ounces heavy cream, plus more for reweighing
- 6 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
- 1/ 8 teaspoon black peppercorns, lightly crushed
- 6 whole cloves
- 1 star anise
- 1/ 4 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
- pinch fleur de sel
- 2 tablespoons loose leaf black tea, like assam or darjeeling
- 6 ounces milk chocolate, 38-46%
To Make the Chai Milk Chocolate Ganache
In a small pot, bring heavy cream, cardamom pods, black peppercorns, whole cloves, star anise, vanilla bean seeds and scraped pod, fleur de sel, and black tea to a boil. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt the milk chocolate over a double boiler, stirring occasionally to help the melting process. Or, melt the chocolate in a heat-safe bowl in the microwave, using 30-second intervals, stirring between each interval (monitor this very carefully as to not burn the chocolate). Set aside once melted.
Strain steeped cream into a clean bowl and discard spices. Transfer steeped cream back into the small pot and add more fresh cream until the weight is, again, 4-ounces. Bring to a simmer and then pour over the melted milk chocolate.
Using a small spatula, or spoon, gently stir the hot cream into the chocolate using small circular motions in the center of the chocolate bowl. As it combines gently stir in larger circular motions until the ganache is fully combined and smooth. Set ganache on counter top, at room temperature, until firm for about 8 hours or overnight. If preferred, allow ganache to cool at room temperature and then place in the refrigerator to firm up more quickly.
For the Frothy Chai Hot Chocolate
- 3 ounces chai milk chocolate ganache, recipe above
- 6 ounces 2% milk, or whole milk
- pinch fleur de sel
- 1 star anise, for garnish
- Ground cinnamon, for dusting
To Make the Frothy Chai Hot Chocolate
Place the chai milk chocolate ganache into a high speed blender and set aside.
In a small pot, combine the milk and fleur de sel. Bring to a boil and pour over the ganache in the high-speed blender. Allow the hot milk and ganache sit for 1 minute before placing on the blender lid.
Securely place on the lid and blend on ‘high’, for 15-30 seconds, until very frothy. Pour chai hot chocolate into a clean mug, add star anise, and a light dusting of cinnamon to garnish. Repeat the process for the next two hot chocolates. Any remaining chai milk chocolate ganache may be stored, in an airtight container, in the refrigerator for up to 1-month.