The temperature has dipped far below the acceptable range and no amount of scarves, gloves, and hats is warming us up. These dark and dreary days we're turning to something more to turn up the heat: spicy hot chocolates. Heavily spiced and scented and topped with dollops of whipped cream, these sweet cups are what we need to get us through the cold nights of winter. Mix one up every night of the week as you count down the days until spring. And when it starts to snow, you can always spike your cup.
Terry Hope Romero, author of Viva Vegan has several recipes for a Mexican hot chocolate with a touch of spice that take decadent to a whole new level. She uses Taza, a Massachusetts based chocolate and her recipe calls for a little more chocolate than most recipes for a smoother, richer flavor with more foam. Use a nondairy milk and the recipe becomes gluten-free. Perfect for those crisp mornings and evenings.
If you’re in the mood for chocolate and some warming up make a pot of Spicy Hot Chocolate. Cocoa powder gets a lift from cayenne pepper and an extra punch in flavor from coconut milk, making this drink the perfect mix of sugar and spice for a night parked on the couch.
Theobroma Cacao is the plant from which cacao, or the unprocessed predecessor of chocolate is derived. Cacao grows throughout Southern Mexico, where raw chocolate is still freshly ground in many households. Most families have their preferred molienda, or grinding recipe, which dictates the proportion of cacao to cinnamon, almonds and sugar that fits the family’s tastes.