Either I am in love with winter, or perhaps just the idea of it. I am certifiably nuts over hot chocolate. It's not something I can totally control either. It just starts with a craving, and develops into something more. It's like eating chocolate, but better; you don't have to wait for it to melt on the tongue to be able to savour it's beauty. In the next while, I'm going to feature, well, virtually endless varieties of hot chocolate. It's not that cold out yet, but we can all use a head-start on deliciousness to keep our wits about us. It's fairly simple to prepare, doesn't require hours of time, or overtly expensive ingredients. It can be humble, and still thrill us to no end. Cinnamon is an intriguing flavour to me. It has been demanded for hundreds of years, and is used in virtually every type of dish, from dessert to liqueur. And why not? It is sweet and spicy, an undeniably versatile and delicious spice. In this recipe, I used ground cinnamon, and the stick form, to ensure a thorough cinnamon luxuriousness. Cinnamon and chocolate paired together, makes me think of something very earthy, but also something exotic. Aztecs meet Silk Road. Cinnamon Hot Chocolate (Serves 2) 1 cup whole milk 1 10 cm cinnamon stick 2 tbsp best quality cocoa 2 tsp ground cinnamon 1 tbsp honey 1 tbsp, 70% dark chocolate (20g, chopped) 1 tsp best quality vanilla extract 1. In a small saucepan, heat the milk, cinnamon stick, cocoa, and the ground cinnamon. Whisk constantly. Bring to a boil, and immediately reduce heat to low. Continue to whisk and heat on low for three minutes. 2. Still using a whisk, add the dark chocolate, honey, and vanilla extract to the heated mixture. 3. Once all the ingredients are silky smooth, pour into warmed cups. Garnish with a small cinnamon stick for each serving.