I always relate hot chocolate to the winter season, although I remember a trip to Mexico, specifically Puerta Vallarta, sitting on the beach on some warm sand, basking in the rays of the sun, and hearing waves coming in and going out, studying the art of nothingness as time goes by. Faintly from a distance I hear this native tongue bellowing chocolate caliente! …………….. choco banana!…………. chocolate caliente!……….. choco banana!…………… and an old woman coming into focus as the heat waves part to let her through, she is selling hot chocolate and frozen chocolate covered bananas. I have to tell you the hot chocolate was amazing and the lady telling me how the hot chocolate cools you down even in the 34 degree Celsius weather, she was right, it brought my body temperature down, amazing! The hot chocolate was smooth and creamy and you could taste the roasted flavor of the dark cocoa beans, no whip cream, this peddler was about bare essentials and sometimes simple is best.
There are so many memories of drinking hot chocolate and as a child who didn’t like it. I remember countless days skiing even in the most bitter cold and wind, coming into the chalet getting a nice big hot chocolate, squeezing my feet from the prison of ski boots, putting them up close to the fireplace and getting a bit of that tingling when your toes start to thaw. Clenching that cup so warm and slowing blowing and sipping, feeling the steam hit my nostrils and the warmth of that hot chocolate slowing descending down my body warming we wonderfully, so sweet and yummy sip after sip till it was gone and like a crazy teen boots back on along with layers of clothing and out to the slopes to carve out some snow and feel the adrenaline of speed, lol.
Well I would have to say that this year in Edmonton we have been blessed with a mild winter. The temperatures are decent and snow level is low, thank god not too much shoveling, although once I get started moving snow I become this plow and push endless amounts of snow without fatigue and in my mind I don’t settle on the voice of tiredness and complaint but remain in the thought that this is good exercise and good to help burn all those calories of the hobby I most enjoy, eating. I love when people that exercise a lot and are quite fit and say they exercise to eat. Perfect mantra. So today temperatures are not that bad but a craving for a nice cup of rich and creamy hot chocolate sits in my mind.
Nicoletta has just finished a jazzercise class and I have done my rounds of chores along with a day of shoveling snow at home and work. I stop off at the local grocer and pick up a small carton of whipping cream. I am thinking we have some good quality cocoa on the pantry shelf along with some Bernard Callebaut dark chocolate shavings, a few chocolate chips, white and semi sweet, this hot chocolate is going to be great.
I warm up some good organic 2 % milk in a pot, I have to say that the organic milk has such a great taste and I remember having the other milk and it always has this smell to it, well the organic doesn’t have that and I cannot go back to regular milk. Organic tastes so much better to me, a personal preference thing lol. I bring the milk to a medium heat and put in the cocoa using a whisk blending it till the cocoa colors the milk a nice dark brown, I slowly add the chocolate shavings and a bit of white and semisweet chocolate chips and whisk again til the chocolate is all melted. A dash of brown sugar and cinnamon, a final stir and it is ready to be enjoyed.
In a bowl I blend with a hand mixer whipping cream, vanilla extract, and sugar, whipping it till those velvety stiff peaks form, and yes I have to dip my finger in to taste it and yum so good perfect to top off the hot chocolate, and when I was at the grocery store I noticed this display with all kinds of candy canes, peppermint, raspberry, rootbeer, and the one I thought that would be wonderful as an accent for the hot chocolate, butterscotch. Sprinkle with a dusting of cinnamon, and voilà.
The hot chocolate looks amazing velvety smooth with that melted chocolate sheen. Sweet but not too sweet, the flavor of the cocoa and chocolate perfect balanced flavors, whip cream whipped to heavenly cloud consistency, and that humble taste of cinnamon for a bit of spice, and just for the kid in you licking the hot chocolate off the candy cane and getting a bit of butterscotch in the mix, fun and yum yummy.
Happy Thursday to all those hot chocolate lovers!Print
- 2 3/4 cups 2% milk
- 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons dark chocolate shavings
- 1 tablespoon semi sweet chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon white chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3/4 cup whipping cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon white granulated sugar
- 4 Butterscotch candy canes
- In a medium pot bring milk from low to medium heat stirring frequently.
- Add cocoa powder and keep whisking.
- When cocoa is incorporated in milk,add chocolate shavings and keep stirring with whisk.
- As chocolate shavings melt, add chocolate chips.
- Blend till melted and mixture is velvety smooth.
- Add cinnamon and a final stir.
- Ready to serve.
- Pour whipping cream in a glass bowl. Add vanilla.
- With a hand held blender on high blend mixture slowly adding sugar.
- Mix till stiff peaks form.
- Ladle hot chocolate in a cup.
- Top with whipped cream and dust with either chocolate shavings or cinnamon.
- Place candy cane in cup.
- And the final step: Enjoy!
- Serving Size: 4 servings
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