Mexican Hot Chocolate

With the winter on in full swing there is something so comforting about GOOD hot chocolate , its like a drink and dessert all rolled into one . The exoctic mouth feel of this fine hot chocolate is the combination of  really fine unsweetened chocolate , spices and creaminess from a small addition of sweetened condensed milk .

Serves 4 to 6

Ron Silver

6 oz good quality unsweetened chocolate , broken pieces

2 cups milk

2 cups heavy cream

1/2 cup condensed milk

1/2 cup sugar

pinch of ground cloves

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

2 pinches cayenne pepper , or to taste

In the top of a double boiler over simmering water , melt the chocolate.

Stir together the milk , cream , and condensed milk in a heavy 2 quart saucepan over low heat . Cook until very hot but not boiling . Whisk in the sugar , cloves , cinnamon and cayenne pepper .

Whisk the melted chocolate into the cream mixture and continue whisking until no chocolate steaks remain and beverage is smooth and very hot .

Pour into mugs and serve.


Virgin Cranberry cosmopolitans

Virgin cosmopolitans are deliciously good for you , go ahead , induldge ! Feel free to share with the kids , they will feel included in the fun !

Willian Sonoma

Ice cubes

1 cup ( 8 fl oz / 250 ml ) cranberry juice

1 cup ( 8 fl oz / 250 ml ) fresh tangerine juice

1/4 cup ( 2 fl oz / 60 ml ) fresh lime juice

4 lime zest twists

Put 4 martini glasses in the freezer to chill for at least 30 minutes . Just before serving , fill a cocktail shaker half full with ice. Pour over the cranberry juice , tangerine juice , and lime juice . Cover with the lid and shake vigorously up and down for 10 seconds . Strain into the chilled glasses, dividing evenly . Garnish each glass with a lime twist , serve at once.

Cranberry martinis

Concider serving these crimson cranberry martinis at your next gegathering. Garnish with frozen cranberries and a lemon twist.

Williams Sonoma

Ice cubes

1 cup (8 fl oz /250ml ) vodka

1/4 cup (2 fl oz / 60 ml ) dry vermouth

1/2 cup ( 4 fl oz / 125 ml ) cranberry juice

8 cranberries , frozen

4 lemon zest twists

Put 4 martini glasses in the freezer to chill for at least 30 minutes. just before serving , fill a cocktail shaker half full of ice . Pour over the vodka , vermouth and cranberry juice . Cover with the lid and shake vigorously up and down for about 10 seconds. Strain into the chilled glasses , dividing evenly . Garnish each glass with 2 frozen cranberries and a lemon twist . Serve at once.

Almond Lace Cookies , DAVID’S ( a bistro!)

David’s ( a bistro !) serves the most delectable fare in Sailsbury , Maryland . Their delicate almond lace cookies just simple melt in your mouth. Just be sure to allow the cookies to cool before transferring them to a rack as they are very soft when they come out of the oven and need time to set.

Makes about 18

David’s (a bistro !) Sailsbury , Maryland

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 stick (1/4 cup ) unsalted butter

1/4 cup light corn syrup

1/3 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup sliced almonds , chopped

Preheat oven to 350*F and generously grease 2 cookie sheets.

Cook brown sugar , butter and syrup in a 1 quart saucepan over moderate heat , stirring occasionally until smooth . Remove from heat, then stir in flour and almonds.

Spoon scant tablespoons of batter 6 inches apart on baking sheet ( 4 cookies per sheet ) and bake 1 sheet at a time in middle of oven  until golden brown and bubbling , 6 to 8 minutes , ( cookies will spread 5 to 6 inches ) Cool cookies on sheet 1 to 2 minutes. Quickly but carefully remove cookies from sheet with a metal spatula and transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Frozen Baci

As you can tell I love Baci chocolates. I cannot imagine what could be more delicious than sipping on a chocolate hazelnut flavored milkshake, topped with Baci chocolates.

Serves 2

Chocolatier magazine

1/2 cup vanilla

2 tbs Hazelnut Liqueur (such as Frangelico or Capella)

1 tsp unsweetened nonalkalized cocoa powder

Perugina Baci chocolates

Place all ingredients into the jar of a blender and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour mixture into 2 glasses and serve with Perugina Baci chocolates.

White Heat

I am always on the look out for new , creative  and stylish drinks to serve at different times of the day. This drink ,served hot is aptly called White Heat , it is a heavenly  white version of the classic cocoa version laced with Kahula and Burbon. I love to serve this with a cloud of whipped cream often as a finish to a great meal , sitting next to the fire place.

Chocolatier Magazine

Serves 2

1 1/2 oz white chocolate ,coarsely chopped

1 cup milk

2 tbs coffee liqueur , such as Kahlua

1 tbs Burbon

Sweetened whipped cream , for garnish

Chocolate coffee beans , for garnish

Put chocolate in a medium bowl . In a small saucepan , heat milk until scalding. Pour the hot milk over the chocolate and whisk until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Stir in the coffee liqueur and burbon. Pour mixture into 2 coffee mugs and garnish with whipped cream and chocolate coffee beans, if desired.

Love Passion

This Champagne based cocktail is appropriately named for its use of Passion fruit liqueur. It is served at the Park Plaza in Toronto .

..seriously how great would this be on Valentine’s day!!!!

1/2 oz (1 tbs ) gin

1/2 oz (1 tbs) Alize (Passion Fruit Liqueur)

6 tbs chilled dry champagne

Garnish Raspberries

Makes 1 drink

In a champagne flute combine gin and liqueur and top off with champagne. Garnish drink with berries.