#239 // Hygge Hot Chocolate

I'm a walking, talking...or wait, that should probably read, 'cosied up indoors with a candle' cliche at the mere mention of the word hygge. I know I am. 

By now, we all know it's pronouced "hoo-gah" and that, while the Scandinavian term has no direct translations, is all about enjoying the good things in life with good people around you, and has essentially become a bit of a lifestyle adjective. 

But I would just like to mention that I wrote a post about hygge last year, before all the coffee table books started to be published in earnest. And FYI, my sentiments about Christmas remain entirely the same this year. 

You all know I love food and drink, and so I felt it was my duty to translate hygge into a drinkable sensation: warming, spicy, lingering. I love chai tea, but it's so frustrating to find it done well in tea bag form. And don't even get me started on the insipidly sweet offering that Starbucks has on it's menu. 

A mugful of milk
A thumb-sized portion of ginger (you can leave the skin on), sliced
Cardamom seeds, I crush the pods so the flavour can infuse in less time)
Cinnamon (stick or ground)
Black pepper, freshly milled
Hot chocolate (I used an M&S instant sachet, use what you have)
(You can add nutmeg, mixed spice and/or a teaspoon of vanilla extract if you wish).

Pour milk into desired mug to get the right amount. Transfer to a pan on a low heat. 
Crack the fresh black pepper directly from the mill to the pan. I used about six or seven turns, but do this to taste. 
Add the cardamom to the milk mix.
Add the sliced ginger and cinnamon. Leave on a low heat for about ten-twelve minutes. 
Add the hot chocolate and increase the heat to medium. Stay by the pan, stirring constantly as the mixture begins to boil. 
Remove pan from the heat, strain and serve. 

Cosy up in bed or on the sofa (blanket optional, but advisable). Drink immediately and take a moment to absorb the chilled vibes.

If you want to know more about hygge, I'd really recommend The art of living Danishly by Helen Russell. I read it last year, and as well as immediately wanting to move Bilund and work for Lego and eat A LOT OF PASTRY, it was a wander first hand insight into hygge, and a great check in for myself personally. 

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