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If you are looking for something to warm you up, this holiday season, and you enjoy both coffee and chocolate this may be just the beverage for you.
Coffee Infused Drinking Chocolate:
1 - Bag Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate, Double Chocolate, or Dark Chocolate Pieces / Chips. (Your choice of flavor)
1 - Quart Room Temp. Half-and-Half or Whipping Cream. (you may use whole milk or 2% but it will not be as rich and decadent)
3 - cups of your favorite single origin coffee. (for the Coffee Reduction)
Spices - (such as) Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cardamom, Ancho chile, Star Anise, etc.
Place the coffee in a medium sauce pan and SLOWLY heat it, over medium heat to reduce it to a syrupy consistancy. DO NOT boil the coffee. Reduce it slowly and you will be rewarded with a delicious coffee flavored syrup. (This reduction may also be used to pour over ice cream. You may add sugar, to the reduction, for ice cream use, but NOT for the drinking chocolate.)
In a double boiler (2 sauce pans placed, one on top of the other, with the bottom pan filled 1/3 of the way with water), heat the water, on your stovetop, until the water is hot, but NOT boiling. Place the chocolate pieces, into the top sauce pan, and melt them until smooth. Stirring constantly. Do not heat the chocolate over 120 degrees or it will damage the chocolate.
Once the chocolate is melted, pour in the room temperature half-and-half, or Whipping cream. Stirring, or whisking, until it is like a very thick hot chocolate, yet drinkable from a coffee mug. Add as little, or as much, of the "Cream" as you like so it is to your desired consistancy. (I like mine on the thicker and richer side)
Next, wisk in the warm coffee reduction. Again, to your desired taste. (I like a very "full" coffee flavor, so I use a good amount of the coffee reduction)
Lastly, you can infuse your favorite spice, into the mixture, or sprinkle it on top when it is in the cup, if you so desire.
Experiment with different ratios of chocolate, cream, coffee, and spices to get it just the way you want it.
Now, enjoy one of the most rich, and decadent, coffee infused chocolate drinks you will ever taste. Happy Holidays!!
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