While Apple Cider and PSLs are the common choices for fall, I tend to lean more towards extra-caffeinated, milky drinks when having to wake up earlier to accommodate harsh weather/precarious driving conditions. We're out of Nutella for now, but there's never a shortage of tea nor sweetened condensed milk in the cupboards.
I looked toward my favourite food blogs to derive inspiration for an innovative toasty beverages, and was more than thrilled to try out Lady and Pups' creative rendition of hot chocolate inspired by Cantonese flavours.
- 1/2 cup 1% milk*
- 1/4 cup evaporated milk
- 3 tbsp sweetened condensed milk*
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup espresso*
- 3 tsp loose leaf black tea*
- 1 heaping tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 handful of mini marshmallows*
1) Spoon tea leaves into a filter bag, then place into a small saucepan with the milk.
2) Steep the tea over low heat while stirring constantly. Spoon in sweetened condensed milk, stirring after the addition of each tablespoon.
3) Once the mixture becomes a pale copper hue, remove the tea bag and add in the espresso and evaporated milk. Stir to combine.
4) Over low-medium heat, add in cocoa powder and stir until fully dissolved.
5) Remove from heat and strain the mixture to remove any clumps.
6) At this stage, one can opt for a chilled version of the drink by allowing it to cool to room temperature and placing in the refrigerator at this stage for approximately one hour. Serve over ice.
7) To restore a slight amount of heat into the drink, microwave for 20 to 25 seconds before using a milk frother to add texture.
8) Pour into a serving mug and top with marshmallows. If desired, char the surface of the marshmallow layer with a kitchen blowtorch.
9) Serve and enjoy!
- Feel free to substitute 1% milk with skim milk, or even 2% milk for a richer taste. I have not attempted to use non-dairy milks though, and thus cannot vouch for the taste or texture if substituted.
- Feel free to adjust the amount of tea leaves or espresso to fit your tastes. I generally prefer milder coffee and stronger tea flavours, but happened to be running low on Nepal Black. (Oops!)
- Evaporated milk is an essential element of yuan yang and would advise against substituting coconut milk/almond milk/cashew milk/etc. in its place.
- Sweetened condensed milk provides the hot chocolate with a dose of unique sweetness unlike any other, therefore it is the recommended sweetener in this case. However, if you must, other potential alternatives include granulated sugar or agave.
- The size of marshmallows used in the recipe is entirely based on preference; mini marshmallow were utilized for this recipe simply since I find that charring large marshmallows uniformly to be slightly more challenging.
- For best results, allow the marshmallows to melt halfway before consuming.