1. Rich Dessert Hot Chocolate
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 vanilla bean, halved and scraped
1/2 cup granulated sugar
6 egg yolks
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1/3 cup whole milk, or more as needed
1 tablespoon bourbon or rum (optional)
1 tablespoon white creme de cacao
Combine heavy cream and vanilla bean in a heavy-bottom sauce pot and steep over low heat for 20 minutes. Remove vanilla bean. While waiting, combine sugar and egg yolks in a mixing bowl and whisk for 5 minutes, or until pale yellow and thickened.
Drizzle 1/2 cup of hot cream into eggs, stirring constantly, to temper the yolks. Now pour the entire egg mixture into the hot cream while stirring.
Cook and stir over low heat until custard is cooked to about 165 degrees Fahrenheit, or until thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from heat.
Add 3 ounces coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Move on to the next step, or thin with 1/3 – 1/2 cup of whole milk, as desired.
Finish with 1 tablespoon each of bourbon or rum, and white crème de cacao, or your favorite liqueur and marshmallows (optional). Make 4 cups.
2. Rum-Orange Hot Chocolate
1 cup milk (the closer to whole milk, the better)
1 tablespoon cocoa powder (preferably Dutched)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 pinch salt
1 tablespoon dark (not spiced) rum
1 tablespoon orange liqueur (e.g. Citronge,
Marshmallows or whipped cream, for serving
Whisk together milk, cocoa powder, sugar, and salt in a small pot over medium heat. Heat, whisking occasionally and making sure to scrape along the bottom of the pot, until the mixture is steaming.
Turn off the heat and stir in the rum and orange liqueur.
Pour into mugs and add marshmallows or whipped cream, as desired.
3. Mexican Hot Chocolate
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons almond meal
Large pinch cayenne pepper
Pinch sea salt
Mix all ingredients together in a small pot. Warm over medium heat while whisking to combine.
Divide between two mugs and serve.
Garnish with a small amount of additional cayenne, cinnamon and a cinnamon stick if desired.
4. Mint Hot Chocolate
6 sticks peppermint, for serving
9 ounces peppermint schnapps
6 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate
1 quart milk
Whipped cream, for topping
Heat 1 cup of the milk in a medium saucepan over low heat.
Add chocolate, stirring constantly, until melted. When the chocolate has melted, increase heat to medium and add the remainder of the milk while whisking rapidly. Do not allow to boil.
Serve in small cups fortified with a jigger (1 1/2 ounces) of peppermint schnapps and a dollop of whipped cream.
Add a peppermint stick to stir. If transporting in a thermos, heat thermos up with hot water to get it warm for 1 minute. Pour water out and fill with hot chocolate.
5. Mayan Hot Chocolate
1 ounce chocolate
1/4 teaspoon ancho chili powder
12 ounces hot milk
Stir chocolate and chili powder into 12 ounces hot milk.