Yes. I know it is the middle of July.
But I live in San Francisco and it is ALWAYS hot chocolate weather here.
This morning as I was deciding what to make today I walked out of my apartment and was in a cloud. The fog hung so low that I was surrounded in mist and it was amazing. For some reason it made me want hot chocolate. Maybe because I love hot chocolate, and think it is appropriate for every occasion. More than once I have been out at a bar trying to be social and ordered a hot chocolate only to be sneered at; once though a nice bartender gave me some from his private stash.
1 Cup Whipping Cream
2 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 Dried Chipotle Chili
2 Star Anise Pods
1 Tsp. each Cinnamon, Cayenne Pepper, Orange Zest
1 Tb. Light Corn Syrup
Warm the whipping cream and vanilla and spices in a small sauce pan over low/medium heat. Occasionally whisk it so that it doesn’t burn on the bottom. Meanwhile measure out 10 ounces of chocolate and place in a heat proof bowl. I think dark chocolate chips are best, but you can substitute milk chocolate too. If you are using a bar or brick of chocolate make sure to break it up so that it melts easier. This is a good point to add the corn syrup, this will help the ganache to stay silky smooth. Once the cream is at a low boil, pour it into the bowl with the chocolate. Remember to fish out the pepper and star anise. Now stir, keep stirring until the cream and chocolate are completely blend together.
You just made ganache, don’t you feel fancy?
You can jar this silky ganache and tie it with a bow and gift only to people you love. It would be super fancy in a gift basket with some mugs or tiny espresso cups like the one above.
Don’t feel about bad about the ganache, you say it just like panache. They are both French words, one means chocolate mixed with cream and the other means flamboyant. Panache is a good word, but I prefer ganache, especially for truffles.
Oh, I almost forgot, this is a molinillo -- a traditional Mexican whisk. If you are having a Hot Chocolate Party and are mixing a few servings at once hold the molinillo by both of your palms and rub them together like you are trying to start a fire. The disks on it will spinning making your Hot Chocolate a frothy perfection. Defiantly not necessary but a nice upgrade, plus its pretty to have laying around your kitchen as a conversation starter.