It’s that time of the year. We need the hot chocolate.
And, just in case, to make sure we stay nice and toasty warm from the inside out, we need some booze in it.
While it means the loss of my glorious post-work outdoor tennis days for the next handful of months, fall is coming at just the right time. The time when I’m sick and tired of everything in my closet, and ready to tuck in with my sweats and sweaters and big Mickey Mouse feet slippers. Where good books and Netflix binges are how time is passed and soon, Mother Natures gives us all the perfect, snowy excuse to turn down going-out plans.
And here, the perfect drink to pass the next few seasons. A Drunken Irish Hot Chocolate.
I came up with this new twist on hot chocolate, because, while cinnamon and rum are great ways to play with a classic, the flavors of Ireland, in its Stout and Bailey’s stereotypical-ness seemed the perfect accompaniment to something rich, dark and chocolately.
In fact, we know they are. See Irish Cream Chocolate Layer Cake. See it, make it, breathe it, eat it. Repeat.
While a shot of Jameson would also be lovely, sometimes a little less of a punch in the face, burn down the throat is nice, too. And for that, a few tricks.
First, we start with some good milk (as in say goodbye to your skim for this one), warmed with some cornstarch, and add to it a lot of chocolate.
Like lots of chocolate. Are we doing this, or are we doing this??
Let it melt, let it thicken. You get the gist.
I wanted the flavor of a nice Irish stout, and inspired by the trick’s up Joy’s sleeve, reduced my favorite alcoholic version down to a thick-but-not-syrupy concoction. In that goes into each glass.
Add in the chocolate milk mixture…
And give it a topper of real whipped cream, which might just be laced with a little bit of Irish Cream liquor…
Don’t forget a few chocolate sprinkles to finish.
I mean, who wants to share this? Not me; get your own!
Note that if you really don’t want the booze, I implore you to make just the hot chocolate. It really is the best way! Also, the amount of alcohol is really up to you, your taste and your tolerance. Don’t be afraid to play around with the amounts!
Now excuse me. I need to watch Beauty & the Beast for the 100th time since I bought it.
- 1 12-oz bottle or can or Irish stout beer
- 2 cups 2% milk
- 1/2 tsp cornstarch
- 4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 TB Irish Cream Liquor
- 2-3 TB confectioner's sugar
- Chocolate shavings, to garnish.
- Over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan, bring the stout to a boil, keeping an eye on it to make sure it doesn't bubble over. Once it boils, reduce the heat to medium and let reduce about 1/3 in volume, about an hour. Remove from saucepan and set aside.
- Give the saucepan a rinse and dry. To it, add the milk and the cornstarch and mix well. Set over medium heat until it boils, being careful that it does not burn. Remove from the heat and add in the chocolate. Stir until all the chocolate is melted. Put back on the heat and let cook to desired thickness.
- While the chocolate is cooking, beat the whipping cream to medium-stiff peaks. Add in the Irish cream and confectioner's sugar and set aside.
- To each of two mugs, add 2 TB of the stout and 1 cup of the hot chocolate. Top with your desired amount of cream, and chocolate shavings.
Written, really, while watching Beauty & the Beast.