Recipe from Gifts Cooks Love by Diane Morgan and Sur La Table (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2010)Irresistible, especially on a cold winter's day, this hot chocolate drink is deeply rich, vanilla-perfumed, and chile-charged-an ideal gift for friends who ski, snowboard, or ice skate. You make the decadent base, pour it into jars, and refrigerate until it sets like a firm ganache. Tie the decorative jars with ribbon and attach a recipe card. Spooned from the jar into a warm mug, the chocolate is stirred with hot or steamed milk for an indulgent, après-ski treat by the fire-a cozy, delicious gift.
- 1 1/4 pounds (20 ounces) bittersweet chocolate (61 to 66 percent cacao), finely chopped
- 2 1/4 cups heavy (whipping) cream
- 2 soft, plump whole vanilla beans, split and scraped
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground chipotle chile powder
- ¼ cup light corn syrup
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 5 minutes | Makes four (½-pint) jars of drinking chocolate
- Four (½-Pint) Decorative Glass Jars with Tight-Fitting Lids, Kitchen Scale, Cutting Board, Chef's Knife, Large Heatproof Glass or Stainless-Steel Bowl, Measuring Cups and Spoons, Paring Knife, Medium Saucepan, Silicone Spatula
1. Wash the jars, including the lids, in hot, soapy water and dry thoroughly. Alternatively, run the jars through the regular cycle of your dishwasher; wash the lids by hand.
2. Place the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl. Set aside.
3. In a medium saucepan over low heat, bring the cream, vanilla beans (seeds and pods), cinnamon, and chipotle chile to a boil, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat. Using a silicone spatula, press the vanilla pods against the side of the pan to remove any remaining seeds and cream. Discard the pods.
4. Immediately pour the cream mixture over the chocolate, stirring constantly until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Add the corn syrup and almond extract, stirring until incorporated.
5. Pour the chocolate ganache into the prepared jars, dividing it evenly and leaving ½ inch headspace. Wipe the rims clean and secure the lids. Label and refrigerate.
Storing: Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
Gift-Giving Tips: Tie each jar with raffia or ribbon and attach a recipe card. To turn this into a gift basket, consider including small mugs or even cappuccino cups and saucers, along with a fine-mesh shaker filled with a specialty cocoa powder for dusting the top of the drinks.
Recipe Card: Create a card to package with gift
Mexican Hot Chocolate
This homemade Mexican Drinking Chocolate was made on [give date] and can be enjoyed for up to 2 weeks. To make a cup of drinking chocolate, use a spoon that has been warmed under hot water to scoop and measure ¼ cup of the chocolate into a preheated mug. Add ½ cup of hot or steamed milk and stir until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Top with a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle a little cocoa powder over the top. Serve immediately.