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In honor of Valentine’s Day, we dedicate this month’s recipes to “all things chocolate.”
My contribution is from the book “Chocolate at Home” by pastry chef Will Torrent, who makes a chocolate drink based on the ancient Aztec version.
Because of its richness and health benefits, the Aztecs referred to cacao as the “food of the gods.” The cacao was placed in a mortar and pestle and ground with chile and other spices, then hot water was added to make a drink. You can, of course, use regular chile powder—but if you want something smokier, use a chipotle chile powder.
2 tablespoons light brown sugar, clear honey or agave syrup
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cardamom pods, lightly bruised
1 strip orange peel
1/2 teaspoon chile powder, or more to taste
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2 cups dark or bittersweet chocolate (200 grams), finely chopped
Ground cinnamon, to serve
Servings: 8. Serving size: 5 ounces. Per serving: 231 calories, 16.23 g protein, 14.46 g fat, 8.38 g carbohydrates, 1.84 g dietary fiber, 883 mg sodium, 3.36 g sugars, 57 mg cholesterol.
“Chocolate at Home” by Will Torrent, Ryland Peters & Small, $27.95; rylandpeters.com
Before serving, blend the hot chocolate using a handheld mixer to make the hot chocolate silky-smooth and create good foam on top.