Break up the chocolate and place it in a small bowl along with the cocoa powder, cornstarch, and salt. Heat milk with the cardamom pods in a small saucepan until just about boiling. Remove the pan from heat and strain into a small pitcher, removing the cardamom pods. Set the pan aside. You will use it again shortly. Pour about two tablespoons of the hot milk into the bowl of chocolate, and mix to make a paste. Continue adding small quantities of hot milk until the chocolate mixture is mostly homogeneous. Now put all the chocolate and the milk together in the original milk pan, and heat up until it begins to bubble. Reduce the heat and cook for about 2 minutes, until the chocolate begins to thicken. At this point, use your judgement to thicken the chocolate to your desired thickness, understanding that the chocolate will get even thicker as it cools.
Add a ½ ounce of pear liqueur to a one-cup heatproof glass or cup, then add the hot chocolate. Sneak a holiday cookie, or serve with some slices of pear, for dunking.
Makes 2 one-cup portions with a bit extra for top-up.
Recipe and picture from Edible Vancouver
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