Chocoholic: Lemongrass-Lavender White Hot Chocolate
Ever since I tried Vosges Haut Chocolat's Bianca Couture Cocoa (now there's a tongue twister) years ago, I've been obsessed with recreating it. This hot drink is an intriguing blend of lemon myrtle, lavender, vanilla, and white chocolate. It might seem like something you wouldn't enjoy drinking down, especially because lavender can be overwhelming, but it actually works. The flavor of lavender is there, but it's subtle, and the citrus-y essence of the lemon myrtle nicely cuts through the richness of the whiite chocolate. It is, however, somewhat pricey, at $17 for a box whose product weight I have no idea (their website doesn't advertise that tidbit). But that's okay, I just needed a fix, not a month's supply.
I know Vosges uses actual flakes of white chocolate (I've tasted the shards out of the box), so I started with the best that I could find (in my case, Cadbury). I located a jar of lavender, and vanilla, check. Lemon myrtle? Couldn't find that. But according to Vosges, the flavor is similar to lemongrass and kaffir lime leaf, which, fortunately, was easy for me to snag. After some concocting and taste testing, I decided to toss in a bit of lime zest for an extra citrus note, and I left out the vanilla because I was pretty happy with the blend as I had it. I was also glad that I could get away with just using milk, though of course some half and half wouldn't be all that bad...
Did I nail it? Not sure. (To be honest I haven't tasted their version for quite a while). But I can say that out of this melange of ingredients emerges one heck of a yummy drink. One that's an especially delicious and unique alternative to the classic dark hot chocolate.
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About the Author: Yvonne Ruperti is a food writer, recipe developer, former bakery owner, and author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Easy Artisan Bread. You can also watch her culinary stylings on the America's Test Kitchen television show. She presently lives in Singapore as a freelance writer for Time Out Singapore. Check out her blog: shophousecook.com . Follow Yvonne on Twitter.