The weather in DC is acting really emotional. It was freezing, almost reaching as low as the 20s last week, and today, closer to Christmas, it’s 45-50F. I can’t deal with trying to figure out what to wear. Let alone what to eat without sacrificing perfect comfort. I was really hoping today was freezing. The clouds received the day with gloom, indicative of potential white and frosty precipitation. Clearly those forecasts of snow on this corridor were false. I was mostly eager to warm up to colder temps so that I could have a great excuse to switch up my normal morning coffee routine to enjoy this spicy hot dark chocolate I came up with. You already know it had copious amounts of espresso in it, making it one of the finest warm weather beverages I could sip to my soul’s pleasure.
And in to add a more lovely harmony to my two loves, espresso and chocolate, I add some heat! A spicy hot chocolate. Yes, I so went there.
I went for it anyway.
And, to add a more lovely harmony to my two loves, espresso and chocolate, I added some heat! A spicy hot chocolate. Yes, I so went there. It’s cold in my office, so atmospheric temperatures weren’t going to stop me from enjoying a moment of quiet reflection and pure autumnal bliss. It’s exactly what I needed this morning, actually. My last two weeks have been as emotional as this weather and somehow this liquid awesomeness helped equalize the sentiments I woke up with.
My hands were instantly warmed, my heart settled, and my mind at complete peace. My tongue even got some action with the spice. It was a perfect morning.
This was mostly inspired by my addiction to adding mint dark chocolate ganache to my café con leche back in 2009. My Facebook post every morning would start with a tantalizing description of my morning jolt. My friends inquired a lot about it, but I never indulged. And as it goes with most of my food addictions, they’re temporary and then I move on to the next best thing.
I’ve not had anything similar to this cocoa mix since then. I was so excited to make it from scratch that I poured my heart into it.
The big pot yielded enough for 4 healthy servings, two of which I slowly gulped this morning. I reserved the rest for my mom to try later tonight. Or tomorrow. It can also be chilled for merriment later in the week. I can imagine that it’s just as delicious cold, minus the marshmallows.
The beauty of making things from scratch is having complete control of ratios. After playing with different milks and extracts, I figured out what resulted in the best tasting cocoa you’ll relish in this season. I added the marshmallow only because it’s kind of standard and does add a lovely cloudy texture. I’m not a huge fan of them, but they just work in this case. Allowing it to ooze over the mug from the steamy milk chocolate is just too sexy.
Just how I like it. Sexy food is something serious! Especially when it’s pretty effortless.
For your colder days, keep this recipe tacked to your fridge… or come back and pull it from here. It’s so simple, you may just take to making it fresh every morning much like the process of making espresso!
SPICY PEPPERMINT ESPRESSO INFUSED DARK HOT CHOCOLATE
- 5 cups milk
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 1.5 cup brewed espresso, unsweetened
- 6 Tbsp. sugar
- 4 Tbsp. special 100% dark cocoa
- 2 tsp. peppermint extract
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- pinch of salt
- ground cinnamon for dusting
- 2-3 cups marshmallow
Bring water to boil. Add dark chocolate cocoa. Stir well with wooden spoon. Lower heat to medium. Add milks, cinnamon stick, extract, espresso, cayenne pepper, and sugar. Stir well using a whisk and simmer for 20 minutes. Add pinch of salt to taste. Bring to boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Pour into pitcher.
Pour into each serving mug. Top with marshmallows. Wait for a few minutes until marshmallows start to soften and melt into chocolate. Stir. Sprinkle with a dash of cayenne and cinnamon.