Monday, January 4, 2010

(Almost) Instant Spicy Hot Chocolate

YUM. Could you get this out of a packet? Or those awful Nestle "Mexican Hot Chocolate" discs (which, despite the fact that the only "flavors" other than chocolate and sugar are artificial, and that they contain more sugar than chocolate, are surprisingly dairy-free)? This drink is richly chocolatey and creamy, and not too sweet (unless you want it that way).

Many people seem to think that "vegan chocolate" must be hard to find because it's made out of beans or vital wheat gluten or something. And, depending on how stringent your definition of "vegan" is, it might be. But chocolate that contains nothing but cocoa, cocoa butter, sugar, and maybe vanilla is actually ubiquitous. It's only milk chocolate (duh), and poor quality chocolate that tastes like (and contains?) wax (like Hershey's and Nestle), that you need worry about.

Spicy Hot Chocolate

3 1-in squares of high-quality dark chocolate (I used Lindt "Intense Dark" [70% cocoa])
4 oz boiling water
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1 tsp ground cinnamon (or to taste)
4 oz soymilk or other plant milk
sugar to taste (it might depend on whether your milk has sugar added--you might not need any)

Break the chocolate up into very small pieces with your fingers.
In a small saucepan over very low heat, melt the chocolate in the boiling water. Stir until you have a fully dissolved chocolate paste-water. Add cayenne and cinnamon, and pour into a mug or teacup.
In the same saucepan, heat the milk (still over low heat) until hot. Pour carefully into mug, give it a stir, add sugar if desired (remembering that the chocolate and maybe the milk already contain sugar), and you're done!
Makes one 8-oz serving.


myer nore said...

Do you remember that once we made mexican hot chocolate like this in the kitchen - there were 20 or so people there with us, and it resulted in a huge mess. I believe it was after some sort of bonfire in what's now the garden. Who was behind that? It was someone's birthday ...?

Anyway, I love this stuff. I'd love it even more with these delightful tiny gingerbread houses that hook on to your mug. If you're interested in making them, Not Martha even provided a printable pdf pattern to make them yourself.

Julia said...

I do remember-- I think at the co-op with you was the first time I ever made hot chocolate from scratch. But I must have blocked the mess out of my memory.

Those gingerbread houses are ridiculous!