Mexican Hot Chocolate
INGREDIENTS: (Serves 4)
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
6 whole cloves
4 3-inch cinnamon sticks
2 cups milk
1/2 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
1 cup whipping cream, divided in two
1. Pour milk into a saucepan, add vanilla bean and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
2. Mix cocoa, sugar, water, cloves and cinnamon sticks in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly and cook over low heat for 3 minutes.
3. Heat milk over med-high heat until bubbles form around the edge of the pan. Remove vanilla bean.
4. Gradually whisk milk and 1/2 cup cream into cocoa mixture. Cook until hot but do not boil.
5. Strain the mixture into a bowl. Remove the cinnamon sticks and pat them dry.
6. In a chilled bowl, whip the remaining cream to soft peaks.
7. Whisk the chocolate until frothy.
Pour into 4 mugs. Spoon some of the whipped cream on top and lay a cinnamon stick on top of each.
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