You know what the high in Chicago was today? Ten degrees. 10. TEN. And that didn’t take into account the wind chill. When it’s that cold out, I need something that will warm me up, deep inside my core, all the way down to my toes. What does that? Hot chocolate.
Yes, I’m doing hot chocolate again, but let me explain.
My reasons for introducing another variation on a classic winter beverage are legit. While my Chocolate Caliente was in part made because of laziness, it turned to be a huge hit amongst my friends, who have since converted from powder hot chocolate, and are now forever indebted to me for this life-changing introduction. In light of this popularity, I figured another variation would be equally well-received, so here it is.
Honestly the chocolate chips were sort of a cop-out, but I forgot to buy a nicer bar. Still, worked just as well.
Turns out, West Africa, namely Ghana, was the world’s leading producer of cocoa for a large part of the 1900s and the chocolate produced there is thought to be the best and have the boldest and most depth to its flavor. Funny enough, “black gold” is not actually native to the African continent at all, but rather was stolen from South America by explorers and colonization transplanted the seeds across the ocean. Ghanaians still celebrate it as their own and February 14th is actually considered National Chocolate Day there (and, in a way, so is it here).
Lettuce, Tomato and I actually learned about the shucking and making of chocolate when we visited the Choco Museo in Cuzco, Peru this past May. It’s hard work! The shucking, the grinding, the tempering, etc. Still, the results were worth the effort. The goods we hand crafted were delicious and we had a great time. I know I’m touting the wrong continent right now, but if you’re ever in Cuzco, you should check it out.
Whole cocoa beans
Tomato, Lettuce and me in a bean-grinding heat. Who won? Yours truly. Guns of steel.
Anyway, back to the task at hand. Another reason that I thought this version of hot chocolate would be appropriate is that it is “adult.” Read: RUM. Like I’ve said before, I’m not one for too much alcohol, but I do love rum. Especially spiced rum. The Captain and I, we’re friends. Every night before I go to bed, I drink a warm milky beverage, and I have for approximately the last ten years. I know, I’m an 80 year old woman. By making my Friday night warm milky beverage a “cocktail,” it somehow seems less grandmotherly and more hip. And I’m nothing if not hip.
Anyway, it’s hot chocolate, but it’s different. Try it! It sure warmed me up. And if you haven’t tried the Chocolate Caliente yet, you really should do that too. You won’t be sorry!
- 2 cups milk
- 4 ounces dark chocolate
- 2 tsp honey
- 1 TB brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 shots of spiced rum
- Whipped cream, to serve
- Heat chocolate, milk, honey, sugar and cinnamon stick in a small saucepan over medium heat, gently stirring constantly until the chocolate melts.
- Add the vanilla and rum and heat to desired temperature. Remove the cinnamon stick, top with a healthy dollop of whip and enjoy!
Note: This post has been updated from its original with new pictures. Prettier ones. Content remains the same witty soliloquy.
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