Many 5 stars hotels in Turkey greet you with a cup of Sahlab or Salep at arrival. This drink was introduced to Lebanese by Ottomans. Originally it consists of milk and orchid flour, but now many cafés prepare it with milk, sugar and cornstarch. I personally use Sahlab mix, they are available in many brands in Lebanon and all over the world. You just mix it with hot milk and ready in a-snap-of-a-finger! Some add orange blossom water or honey, others top it with pistachios and shredded coconut, but I like it the way dad used to make it, sprinkled with cinnamon and served with kaak on the side.
This thick creamy drink has higher demand on cold winter days, just perfect to snuggle on the sofa with. but I love that during summer it can be found among ice cream flavors.
Sahlab is popular throughout the Middle East, and heard from my vegan friends that it can be done with soya milk.
If you can get Sahlab -Salep- fine powder, here below the recipe!
2 cups milk
1 1/2 tsp ground sahlab
pinch (or a bit more) of ground mastic
2 tbsp sugar
Dissolve the mastic in 1/3 cup warm milk. Set aside.
On a medium heat, pour the rest of the milk and bring to boil. Add the Sahlab by sprinkling gradually and stirring. Keep stirring for about 5 minutes.
Add sugar and stir. Transfer the mastic milk mixture and stir to form a thick creamy milk.
Serve hot sprinkled with cinnamon and with your favorite brioche or kaak.
My Christmas shopping started in Paris, I was there just 2 weeks before Christmas, it was the perfect time of the year to visit the city and enjoy its chic boutiques, festive decorations and fairy lights.
I stayed in the 16th arrondissement, not too far from Trocadero and Eiffel tower, despite the cold weather I made sure to walk every day outside and take a hot chocolate break in one of the Parisian gourmet cafés to warm my hands and satisfy my taste buds.
Paris is where the best hot chocolate is found! Enriched with a little cream or milk, Parisian hot chocolate is served thick, velvety and rich. The luxury comes from the excellent quality chocolate concoctions they add.
Cocoa contains flavonoids, antioxidant-rich pigments that relax blood vessels and promote cardiovascular health, but also if consumed in large quantities it can expand my waistline, therefore I like to flavor my drink with cinnamon or vanilla and drink it in an espresso-size cup.
Time for a selfie with my lifetime friend Nidal!!
Creamy Hot Chocolate With Cinnamon
2 cups unsweetened almond milk (or cow milk)
¼ tsp ground cinnamon (or more)
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ cup 70% dark chocolate, chopped
2 tbsp brown sugar
Pinch of salt (preferably fleur de sel)
Bring milk and cinnamon to a boil. Let simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.
Whisk in vigorously cocoa powder, chocolate, sugar and salt, until mixture is frothy.
Divide among 2 mugs and garnish with mini marshmallows or cinnamon sticks if desired.