26 November 2011

Hot 4 Chocolate Mix

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and didn't get pepper sprayed while shopping on Black Friday! So now that that's all behind us, we are 100% full into The Holiday Season. This is my favorite time of year... the cheery Christmas music, out of town friends coming home to visit, parties, count down to my birthday, and of course lots and lots of treats! So, if you're having people over, or heading to others' homes for the holidays, why not have some Hot 4 Chocolate Mix on hand.
This particular mix is made with cocoa powder plus 3 kinds of chocolate... Chocoholics rejoice! It starts sweet and ends with just a touch of bittersweet-ness, with espresso and cinnamon adding a depth of flavor not found in most commercial mixes. Use the best quality chocolate you can find - Guittard, Scharffen Berger, Valhrona, for example. It makes a great gift, so share share alike!

Hot 4 Chocolate Mix
adapted from Simply Cooking School

2 C sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped (save the pod, only use the seeds)
12 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
6 oz dark chocolate, chopped
4 oz white chocolate, chopped
1 C dutch processed cocoa powder
4 tsp espresso powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt

Split the vanilla vertically, scrape out the seeds. Mix seeds into the sugar*. Combine the sugar and chocolates into a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse to combine. Store in an airtight container.

To make Hot Chocolate: Heat 8oz of milk (definitely use milk for the creaminess) until very hot - about 2.5 min in microwave, or until scalded using a stovetop. Whisk in 4 Tbsp of the cocoa mix until all the chocolate is melted. Top with whipped cream or home made marshmallows.

* Don't throw away the vanilla pod. Put it into a small jar of sugar to allow the scent of it to permeate the sugar. After some time, you'll have delicious smelling vanilla sugar.

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