Spicy hot chocolate


Spicy hot chocolate
The Aztecs, inventors of hot chocolate, commonly added chiles to their brew; this version uses cayenne.


Serves 6; yields 4½ cups
        2/3 cup cold heavy cream
        1 Tbs. plus ¼ cup granulated sugar
        ¾ oz. (¼ cup) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
        Table salt
        4 cups 2% milk
        7 oz. bittersweet chocolate (65% to 70% cacao), finely chopped (about 1¾ cups)
        1/8 tsp. ground cayenne; more to taste
        ½ tsp. ground cinnamon

        ½ tsp. smoked paprika.


1. In a medium bowl, beat the cream and 1 Tbs. sugar with an electric hand mixer on medium speed to medium-soft peaks. Refrigerate while making the cocoa.

2. Put the remaining ¼ cup sugar, the cocoa powder, and 1/8tsp. salt in a heavy-duty 3-quart saucepan. add ¼ cup of the milk and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Pour in the remaining milk and whisk to combine. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. add the chocolate and cayenne and reduce the heat to low. Whisk until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is a little frothy, 1 minute. add more cayenne to taste, if you like.

3. Divide the hot chocolate among 6 mugs and top each with a dollop of the whipped cream. Sprinkle a bit of cinnamon and smoked paprika on the whipped cream and serve.

Food: Spicy hot chocolate

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