Monday, January 11, 2010

Warm up With Hot Cocoa

The weather in Northern California has been constistently cold for weeks. So what better way to warm your body and heart with good ole hot cocoa. Here are some of the recipes we've tried and like.

Mocha Hot Cocoa: Phyllis Hoffman
3 cups milk
3 cups half-and-half
1/4 cup expresso powder
1/4 cup coffee-flavored liqueur
Garnish: Whipped cream, expresso powder, chocolate covered coffee bean.
In medium saucepan, combine milk and half-and-half. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Whisk in cocoa mix and espresso powder. Add coffee liqueur, stirring to combine. Garnish, if desired.

Fluffy Hot Chocolate:
• 8 teaspoons sugar
• 4 teaspoons baking cocoa
• 4 cups milk
• 1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions: In a saucepan, combine the first four ingredients. Cook and stir over medium heat until the marshmallows are melted, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla. Ladle into mugs.

Hot Chocolate: Barefoot Contessa
• 2 1/2 cups whole milk
• 2 cups half-and-half
• 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
• 4 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
• 1 tablespoon sugar • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 1 teaspoon instant espresso or coffee powder
• 4 to 5 vanilla beans or cinnamon sticks, for garnish

Directions : Heat the milk and half-and-half in a saucepan on medium heat to just below the simmering point. Remove the pan from the heat and add both chocolates. When the chocolates are melted, add the sugar, vanilla extract, and espresso and whisk vigorously. Reheat gently and serve immediately. Use a vanilla bean or cinnamon stick to garnish each serving.
We hope these help ease those cold winter days. Happy sipping!

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