December 29, 2010
Happy Holidays! I hope you’ve been enjoying the Christmas and holiday season with family and friends. If your season has been anything like mine, then I’m sure it has been filled with an abundance of comfort dishes, decadent desserts and festive beverages.
So far this season, I’ve done more holiday eating than holiday cooking, but I did perfect a spirited hot chocolate drink (or so my taste buds tell me) that I had been experimenting with earlier this month. My smooth Spirited Hot Chocolate recipe came to fruition at the best time … a rare, snowy day-after Christmas.
Just as a white Christmas sparks a special delight in most, drinking hot chocolate made not from a powder mix, but from directly melting chocolate bars will do the same. Hot chocolate made from scratch is so incredibly delightful and comforting that if you’ve never had it before, you’ll wonder how in the world you missed out on this liquid treasure all of your life.
Granted, making your hot chocolate from melting solid bars or chips takes a little longer than just stirring a spoonful of cocoa mix into a mug of hot water, but what awaits is a grand reward. Even if you choose to only make it on occasion, hot chocolate from scratch is perfect for special occasions like holidays, parties and the coldest of winter days.
By itself, melted hot chocolate is super delicious, but it’s the perfect amount of Irish cream and amaretto liqueurs that put the spirit in my Spirited Hot Chocolate. There is still plenty of holiday cheer and cold winter days left for you to make this drink. Please do! I’m so serious … you will not be disappointed.
Spirited Hot Chocolate
1 oz. premium dark chocolate
(eg: 2 squares of Ghirardelli’s 60% cocao bitter sweet 4 oz. dark baking chocolate bar)
1 cup milk (whole or 2%)
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 oz. Irish cream liqueur
(measurement is usually the smaller end of a double jigger)
2 teaspoons amaretto liqueur
1 cinnamon stick or a dash of ground cinnamon (optional)
Using a chef’s knife, chop chocolate into small chunks and set aside. In a small sauce pan, heat the milk and cinnamon stick (optional) over medium-high heat for about 5 – 8 minutes. Do not let milk boil.
Once milk is hot, stir in the chocolate chunks and continue to stir as chocolate melts. Stir regularly until chocolate melts completely (about 10 minutes). Add sugar and stir.
Remove hot chocolate from the heat, then add Irish cream and amaretto liqueurs. If desired, add a small dash of freshly ground cinnamon. Serve immediately and enjoy!