Amped Up Cocoa

After a week of really perfect weather, actual February temperatures can seem blisteringly cold. It might be nice to warm yourself up with something special – a Mexican-inspired hot cocoa, for example.

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I had planned to share this recipe and technique with you last week, but thought you might not be so interested while frolicking in the sun. But today, I have a feeling you might be more convinced. Lightly spiced, this was the best cup of cocoa I’ve ever had. Period.

I first read about spice-infused milk in Martha Stewart Living. I loved the concept. Basically, aromatics and spice steep in milk to create unique flavors. The infused milk can then act as a base to things like oatmeal, coffee, chai tea or cocoa. While I have only tried the version listed below, I think the possibilities are endless.

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Spice Infused Milk via Martha Stewart Living
Technique:
Heat milk with spices and aromatics over medium heat. Stir it every once in awhile until it starts steaming. Cover the pan and remove it from the heat. Let the spices steep in the milk for an hour. Strain and reheat if necessary. This will keep for three days in the refrigerator.

Mexican-Inspired Hot Cocoa (Adapted from Martha Stewart Living)
Makes 2 cups of cocoa
Ingredients:

  • 2 c. whole milk
  • 1-2 dried chipotle chiles
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 vanilla bean, the pod and seeds
  • 2 tsp. cocoa
  • 4 tsp. sugar
  • Create the spice infused milk using the technique described above. Gently reheat the milk in a small pan.

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    Place 1 tsp. cocoa and 2 tsp. sugar in each of your two mugs.

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    Carefully pour half of the milk in each cup. Stir to combine. Marshmallows not required.

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