This Valentine’s Day, why not cozy up with something a little warm and spicy? Pull your mind out of the gutter and back into the kitchen for a minute, will you? You know those cinnamon heart candies that are so prolific this time of year? The ones with the distinct sweet and spicy flavour? Why not make better use of them than just letting them become a sticky, gummy mess in the bottom of a lunch bag.
For two cups of hot chocolate, you are going to need about 1 tablespoon of those little candies and one square (one ounce) of semi-sweet chocolate. If you only have unsweetened chocolate, increase the total sugar by 1 tablespoon.
Grind those little candies up using whatever means you have at your disposal. We keep a mortar and pestle, but you can use a mini food chopper, or throw them in a plastic baggie and bang them around under a rolling pin. Absolute uniformity is not necessary – these will melt in the warm milk – but the finer the grind, the better.
Place the milk, chocolate, candies, and sugar in a heavy bottom sauce pan and heat over medium-low. Regularly stir it until everything has dissolved. See those tiny bubbles around the edge of the pot? That’s what you’re looking for – just warming it through, not boiling.
Remove the pan from the heat and gently stir in the vanilla and salt. If you are really good at it, pour the hot chocolate right from the pan into the mugs. If you are a mere mortal, such as I, use a ladle to avoid making a huge mess.
It will naturally separate a little in the mug – that’s A-OK. Top it with a shot of Gay Lea Real Whipped Cream and a few more of those cinnamon heart candies and you are ready to curl up with your beloved and be a little bit sweet, a little bit spicy.
Spicy Valentine's Day Hot Chocolate
- 2 cups milk (at least 2%)
- 1 tbsp cinnamon heart candies , crushed fine (plus more for garnish
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 square baking chocolate
- 1 tsp good vanilla extract
- pinch salt
- Gay Lea Whipped Cream
Gently heat milk, crushed candies, chocolate, and sugar in a heavy bottom sauce pan, stirring until warm and all ingredients are dissolved.
Remove from heat and add in vanilla and salt.
Divide between two heat proof mugs
Top with whipped cream and extra candies
“Disclosure: I am part of the Gay Lea Blogger Campaign with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.”