I have a very simple hot chocolate I make at work that is just Valrhona chocolate and half-and-half. I use natural flavorings like mint leaves, orange zest or coffee beans, but for Autumn I have been trying some spice varieties and have run into an issue.
When I have tried using cinnamon and clove to infuse the half-and-half it becomes quite thick. I thought perhaps the cinnamon oil was interacting with the dairy, but then I tried toasting and then steeping the spices in water first and the water thickened and had a bit of a gelatinous quality to it.
I have never encountered something like this and wonder if anyone knows what is happening? I know I can make chai tea with milk and not have a problem from the spices, but this mixture needs to be stronger so that it is not overpowered by the chocolate.
Any suggestions or explanation?