Beth's Best: Spiced Vanilla Hot Chocolate
Chocolate was first consumed in Mesoamerica as a spicy, frothy beverage. The below piquant version honors chocolate’s true roots. Top your mugs with fresh homemade marshmallows or whip some cream and top with shaved chocolate and cinnamon for an extra touch. A splash of dark rum makes this drink very adult and oh-so delicious.
· 8 cups whole milk
· 1 cup half and half
· 3/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
· 15 whole cardamom pods, crushed
· 15 whole cloves
· 3 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
· 3 whole star anise
· 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
· 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
· 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
· 4 oz. chopped and melted semisweet chocolate
· 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
· 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
· 1 cup dark rum, optional
- Bring first 10 ingredients to simmer in heavy large saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves.
- Remove from heat, cover, and let steep about 20 minutes.
- Add melted chocolate, cocoa powder and vanilla. Bring to simmer, whisking vigorously until blended.
- Strain hot chocolate into another large pan and discard spices.
- Add rum if desired
- Pour hot chocolate into mugs and garnish as desired
Makes about 10 cups
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