Wednesday, November 19, 2008

"Gourmet" Hot Chocolate Recipes

I like to drink beverages that are tasty, of course, seasonal and unique! Since we ran out of coffee at our house this week and since I had experienced a tasty hot chocolate at the major chain coffee shop this week too, I decided I would find a recipe or two for "gourmet" hot chocolate.

I found this website and was intrigued by the "Mayan Hot Chocolate". I made it (without vanilla bean or almonds/hazelnuts because I had none) and I must say the chili kick makes it a winner. It doesn't taste much different than Mexican hot chocolate but the spice is nice.

Mayan Hot Chocolate
(from recipe gold mine)

1 chile pepper, cut in half, seeds removed
5 cups light cream, or whole milk or nonfat milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 to 2 cinnamon sticks
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate OR 3 tablets
Mexican chocolate, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons granulated sugar or honey or to taste
1 tablespoon almonds or hazelnuts, ground extra fine

Add chile pepper to 2 cups boiling water. Cook until liquid is reduced to 1 cup. Remove chile pepper; strain for stray seeds, and set aside.

In a medium-size saucepan, combine cream or milk, vanilla bean and cinnamon stick. Heat over medium flame until bubbles appear around the edge. Reduce heat to low; add chocolate and sugar or honey; whisk occasionally until chocolate is melted and sugar dissolves.

Turn off heat; remove vanilla bean and cinnamon stick, stir in ground almonds or hazelnuts. Add chile pepper infusion, a little at a time, making sure the flavor isn't too strong. If chocolate is too thick, thin with a little more milk.

Serves 6.

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