The Secret To Perfect Hot Chocolate Is Hiding In Your Hummus

A truly unexpected delight.
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It always feels like cheating when I discover a secret ingredient that makes everyday food taste 20% better.

First, I learned that honey makes a spag bol sing; then, I found out that semolina is the secret to perfectly crunchy roast parsnips and roast potatoes.

And now, it turns out that tahini, a sesame paste usually associated with hummus, is the secret to a perfect, nutty hot chocolate.


Yep! Broma Bakery, for one, swears by the combo.

And in a way, it kind of makes sense ― nutty, creamy hazelnut butter has a similar flavour profile to the delicious sesame paste, and we would never question hazelnut and cocoa spread or chocolate hazelnut truffles.

After all, tahini brownies, cookies, and loaf cakes are nothing new ― so why not infuse your festive chocolate-y drink with it, too?

Its thick, nutty, rich flavour and texture is a great way to make dairy-free alternative milk taste way more creamy, too ― check out this coconut milk option from Half-baked Harvest.

I was so intrigued by the combination that I had to try it yesterday ― I used unsweetened almond milk, and loved the decadent, smooth, almost toffee-like flavour and texture.

How much should I add?

Chocolate is a strong flavour, so I reckon you’ll be surprised by how much you can add and get away with it.

I’ve found that adding a third as much tahini as cocoa is a good way to balance the flavours, but you might want to adjust it to your tastes.

Let’s say, for instance, I’m making hot chocolate for one; I’d usually put on a pint of unsweetened almond milk to simmer, add in three tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa, and dash in two crushed cardamom pods.

I also chuck in a tiny dash of salt at this stage, though this is optional.

Then, I simmer until just below boiling and add a tablespoon of tahini and a dollop of honey or maple syrup at the last minute (in my experience, tahini risks tasting a little burned and acrid if cooked throughout the whole process).

The good thing about choosing unsweetened almond milk and cocoa is that I’m completely in charge of how sugary the end result is ― I hate cloying, teeth-singingly sweet hot chocolate.

After that, I pour the mixture through a sieve to achieve silky-smooth hot chocolate perfection.

Don’t knock it ’til you try it ― I was really skeptical of the combo, and now can’t see myself drinking hot chocolate any other way.