I manufacture a million ways to ensure that I get my chocolate fix every day. I sneak chocolate hazelnut spread into my coffee some mornings. I eat chocolate chips by the handful. Did you know you can make your own hardening chocolate ‘magic shell’ for ice cream with coconut oil? Chocolate in my cookies. Chocolate in my pancakes. The only thing I don’t put chocolate in is salad. And hash browns. And quiche… anyway. I get my chocolate fix in… we’ll leave it at that.
For some reason, my chocolate habit doesn’t usually include a mug of hot chocolate… mostly because I’m usually shoving it in my face as fast as possible. These cold cold days have had me craving a cup of creamy chocolate. This is that, with extra cinnamon, because because.
Original Photography Shot with the Canon EOS 6D Digital SLR. The perfect multimedia solution.
There are some special ingredients going on here. I mean… if we’re going to have a cup of hot chocolate, it should be primo! I used super dark, Black Onyx Cocoa Powder. This is the sort of coco powder that is super-dutched and tastes a bit like Oreo cookies. You know the flavor, right? Last year I made this Midnight Black Chocolate Pudding with this same cocoa powder. So delicious!
Of course you can use any kind of unsweetened cocoa powder that makes you happy. It’s your hot chocolate.
Oh! We’re using vanilla sugar too! I want every element of this hot chocolate to have a layer of flavor. To make this vanilla sugar, I rubbed vanilla beans, scraped from a vanilla pod into granulated sugar.
To flavor the milk, I heated it, tossed in a crumbled cinnamon stick and let the mixture steep for a few minutes.
Layers and layers of flavors!
Chocolate powder is whisked into the warm milk. This feels right.
Let us not forget the whipped cream. Heaven forbid.
I sure did drink both of these glasses. I even piled each glass with the remaining whipped cream. Waste not want not.
Chocolate meets warmth and comfort, with a hint of cinnamon. Chocolate consumption should always be this comforting… and it usually is.
Cinnamon Infused Hot Chocolate
makes 2 cups
2 cups whole milk (or any milk you like)
1 cinnamon stick
3 to 4 tablespoons granulated sugar (depending on your sweetness preference)
half a vanilla bean, split and beans scraped out
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons black onyx unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
ground cinnamon to garnish
Place milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Heat until the milk is steaming but not boiling. Remove from the heat. Crush the cinnamon stick slightly and add to the warm milk. Cover and let steep for 15 minutes.
While the milk and cinnamon steep, rub the vanilla bean into the granulated sugar, creating a fragrant vanilla sugar.
Once steeped, remove the cinnamon stick from the milk and discard. Add the cocoa powder and vanilla sugar to the warm milk. Heat over low heat, whisking constantly until the sugar and cocoa are completely dissolved.
While the cocoa is heating, whip the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract to soft peaks.
Divide hot cocoa between two glasses. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with ground cinnamon. Enjoy immediately.
I tried this with almond milk, but the infusion did not work; not a trace of cinnamon . . .
Adding more ground cinnamon should give you the flavor you want.