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Hot Chocolate – Turn Up the Flavor!

Hot Chocolate – Turn Up the Flavor!

The wind is blowing and a cold front is moving into the area. This colder weather makes me yearn for hot chocolate. Though I’m somewhat a purest when it comes to this creamy, hot beverage occasionally a variation comes along that is worthy of making an exception.

 

Mexican Hot Chocolate is the first twist on hot chocolate that made the list. This is a recipe Emily shared with me several years ago. It’s only natural for spices to make their way back into hot chocolate. We owe our gratitude for hot chocolate to the Mayans who created an early version of a hot cocoa drink as a gift to the gods.

To make Mexican Hot Chocolate you start by creating a spice mix, a wonderful blend of chili powder, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves and nutmeg. The spices play delightfully well off the dark chocolate with just enough chili powder to warm your taste buds but certainly not overwhelming. Finish it with a splash of Kahlua and it’s a perfect drink on a cold evening.

The other variation of hot chocolate also came via Emily. Several years ago she gave me a fabulous framed “map” of coffee drinks. Two coffee concoctions on the list blend coffee or espresso with hot chocolate but the Borgia Coffee was most intriguing.

Borgia Coffee has Spanish and Italian roots. It’s a simple drink created by blending espresso with dark hot chocolate, adding a touch of orange zest, topping it with whipped cream and more orange zest. It’s really quite luscious.

My preferred chocolate is either bittersweet or dark chocolate. One of my favorite indulgences is the hot chocolate from our friends at Williams-Sonoma. It a beautiful tin full of high quality chocolate, already chopped and ready to use. I stock up when it’s in their stores so it’s always in my pantry.

Get the milk heating and set up a hot chocolate bar for your family and friends. What a wonderful way to warm up!

Mexican Hot Chocolate

Mexican Spice Mix:

1 teaspoon chili or chipotle powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon ground cardamom

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Whisk the spices together until well blended. For each cup of Mexican Hot Chocolate you’ll need:

1 cup milk, whole or 2%

5 tablespoons* finely chopped bittersweet or dark chocolate

½ teaspoon Mexican Spice mix

1-1/2 ounces of Kahlua (3 tablespoons)

In a saucepan, add the milk along with the chopped chocolate.

Heat the milk and chocolate over medium-low heat until the milk is hot and steamy and the chocolate is completely melted. Whisk occasionally to keep the milk from scorching.

In a large mug, add the spice mix and the Kahlua.

Pour in the hot chocolate, stir until well blended. Top with marshmallows or whipped cream.

*If you like a richer chocolate flavor use 6 tablespoons chopped chocolate per 1 cup of milk.

Borgia Coffee

Start by making the hot chocolate, for two cups of Borgia Coffee:

1 cup milk, whole or 2%

5 tablespoons* finely chopped bittersweet or dark chocolate

In a saucepan, add the milk with the chopped chocolate.

Heat over medium low heat until the milk is hot and steamy and the chocolate is completely melted into the milk. Whisk occasionally to keep the milk from scorching.

For each cup of Borgia Coffee you’ll need:

2 ounces freshly brewed espresso or dark coffee

4 ounces hot chocolate

1/8 teaspoon orange zest, finely minced

1/4 teaspoon grated orange zest for garnish

Pour the coffee and hot chocolate into a large mug, add the finely minced orange zest. Stir until blended. Top with whipped cream and garnish with orange zest.

*If you like a richer chocolate flavor use 6 tablespoons chopped chocolate per 1 cup of milk.

 



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