Monday, January 26, 2009

Spicy Hot Cocoa

Makes one 12 oz. mugful.

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa*
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
dash salt
dash cayenne
dash black pepper
very hot water
whipped cream (if desired)

Mix all the dry ingredients in a large mug. Pour in enough hot water to fill the mug halfway. Stir thoroughly before topping up the mug with more hot water. Add the vanilla and stir. Top with whipped cream and enjoy!

*To get maximum flavonoids (the antioxidants found in cacao), avoid Dutch-process cocoa. Flavonoids are good for your skin, as this study shows. Woo hoo!

This is how I make it. You might like more sugar (or a sugar substitute, if you must) or less spice, or you might like to substitute hot milk for the water (try almond milk for a thicker drink -- top notch!). Or you might like to cook it all together in a saucepan (just remember to add the vanilla extract after you've taken it off the heat). Improvise! That's what makes me happy -- you never know what wonder-full thing you'll discover.


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