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Some call it the most magical evening of the year filled with family fun and romance for all who celebrate Christmas. What’s more dreamy than a decadent cup of hot chocolate to share by the fire? Here are some last-minute recipes you can whip up for tonight.
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LAVENDER ORANGE BLOSSOM HOT CHOCOLATE
Pastry Chef Lee Smith
Montage Laguna Beach
1 head fresh lavender
2 cups whole milk
2/3 cup cream
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 drop orange blossom water
Cold steep a head of fresh lavender flowers in the milk and cream overnight. Remove the lavender and add the brown sugar; heat until boiling. Pour hot milk/cream over the chocolate, which has been previously chopped. Allow the chocolate to melt, then whisk smooth. Add a drop of orange blossom water and whisk vigorously until frothy. Pour into a glass and top with whipped cream, then add lavender flowers and oranges slices for garnish.
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CHEF’S FAMOUS HOT CHOCOLATE WITH WHIPPED CREAM
Jacques Torres Chocolates
1 cup heavy cream, chilled (for the whipped cream)
2 cups whole milk*
50g (about 1/2 cup) milk powder
3g (about 1 tsp) cornstarch
150g (about 1 cup) 60% dark chocolate, in disks or coarsely chopped
*Note: This hot chocolate is very rich. If you like it slightly thinner, use 3 cups of milk.
First make the whipped cream:
Pour the heavy cream into a medium mixing bowl and put it in the freezer for 5 minutes (If you don’t have room for the bowl, just put the heavy cream in the freezer.) Take the mixing bowl of whipped cream out of the freezer and whisk with a large whisk until soft peaks form.
For the hot chocolate:
Bring milk to a boil in a medium sauce pot over medium-high heat. Lower the heat to medium then add the chocolate, whisking vigorously until the chocolate is completely melted. Add the milk powder and cornstarch, still whisking, until everything is dissolved and the mixture is smooth and thick.To serve, divide the hot chocolate among four mugs or glasses, then garnish each with a large dollop of whipped cream.
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THE BOOZY BOURBON PEPPERMINT HOT CHOCOLATE
F&B Director Jim Gallen
Hearth 61, Mountain Shadows Resort
2 ounces of finely chopped semisweet Ghiradelli chocolate
4 ounces of steamed (or hot) milk
2 ounces of heavy cream
1.5 ounces Makers Mark Bourbon
¼ tsp peppermint extract
Garnish with fresh unsweetened whipped cream and crushed candy cane.
Put the chopped chocolate in an Irish coffee mug. Pour the steamed milk and heavy cream into the mug and let stand for 2 minutes, then stir with a spoon until smooth. Add Bourbon. Garnish with whipped cream and crushed candy cane.