MAKE HOT CHOCOLATE LIKE THEY DO IN SPAIN!
In the cafes of Barcelona, the hot chocolate is legendary. It’s served thick, dark, and rich, flavored with espresso and a hint of orange. The chocolate there is so thick, you almost need a spoon. This is my version of the hot chocolate I came to love while traveling in Spain. The taste is the same, but it is not quite as thick. For an extra kick, add a liqueur. This one is delicious with a shot of vanilla vodka and a little Grand Marnier, but would be very good with peppermint liqueur, Godiva white chocolate or a shot of lovely, dark rum. YUM!
Why not set up a HOT CHOCOLATE BAR for your next party. Mix up a huge pot of hot chocolate. Display whipped cream, toppings, liqueurs, shavings, coffee flavorings, etc so guests can mix up their own concoction.
HOLIDAY HOT CHOCOLATE
Yield: 4 servings
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 ounces good-quality dark or bittersweet (60 to 70 percent cocoa) chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/3 cups whole milk
1 cup Espresso or strong coffee left over from the morning (okay to cheat and use Nescafe)
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup sugar
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 2-inch piece orange rind
1/4 cup fresh whipped cream* (optional)
Cocoa powder or chocolate shavings (optional)
Combine heavy cream, chopped chocolate, cocoa, and sugar in a medium saucepan. Stir well to incorporate, then place over low heat, whisking constantly until chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth. Gradually add the salt, vanilla, orange rind, milk and coffee. Cook over medium-low heat, continuing to stir with a whisk. Heat 5 minutes or until tiny bubbles form around edge of pan, stirring frequently (do not boil). Discard the rind.
Adult version: Add one shot vanilla vodka and 1 teaspoon orange liqueur to each mug.
Pour 1 cup mixture into each of 4 mugs. Spoon 1 heaping tablespoon whipped cream over each serving. Dust with cocoa powder or chocolate shavings, if desired.