Saturday, February 16, 2013

hot-cocoa affogato with peppermint ice cream





I know, I know...  two chocolate posts in a row.  But if any of you live in Nashville, you know how unusually warm the weather has been to be smack in the middle of Winter, and I feel it necessary to take advantage of this cold day to share yet another delicious cup of wonderful!  

A few weeks ago, I posted about the Maple Chai that stole my heart.  It is a great stand-in for the expensive versions found in coffee houses.  In other words, I've had something very similar many times in multiple places.  But this recipe - this recipe, my friends - is a beauty.  It's unlike anything I've had. Anywhere.  

And so, you know me.  It gets posted!

If you are not a fan of chocolate or peppermint, you may not be interested in this one... at least, not as it is in its original state.  But non-chocolate lovers everywhere, you really want to keep reading and be inspired to mix your own faves to satisfy your taste.  The idea behind this concoction is ingenious - hot chocolate, with a scoop of ice cream plopped in the middle, topped with a dollop of whipped delight. There are so many different ways you could celebrate this combination... so many flavor ideas...  

Luke and I absolutely loved this one, but then again, we are both okay with the idea of drinking a candy bar from a cup and washing it all down with a spoonful of ice cream.  

Speaking of that, don't skimp on the ice cream.  Make sure you add a generous amount to balance out the richness of the hot chocolate. Oh.  And partake immediately.  You want to experience the hot and cold all at the same time.  

Before I go, just a tidbit of information so you'll sound smart at your next social gathering:  Affogato in Italian means 'drowned.'  But in the Green household?  'Yuu-uu-uum!'

Hot-Cocoa Affogato with Peppermint Ice Cream -
makes 8 servings
Ingredients:
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup chilled heavy cream, divided
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large pinch kosher salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 5 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (I used a 60% cacao bar), chopped
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, loosely packed
  • 1 1/2 tsp. espresso powder
  • 2 pints peppermint or mint chip ice cream
~ Combine the milk, 1/2 cup cream, sugar, salt, and 1/4 cup water in a large heavy 
    saucepan.  Scrape in seeds of vanilla bean; add bean.
~ Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar.  
~ Add chocolate and cocoa powder; whisk until chocolate melts and mixture just comes to 
    a boil.
~ Whisk remaining 1/2 cup cream and espresso in a small bowl until firm peaks form. 
~ Remove vanilla bean from hot cocoa; discard.
~ Transfer cocoa to a blender and puree until thick and foamy, about 2 minutes. (I used a 
    hand immersion blender... so easy!)
~ Scoop ice cream into teacups; pour hot cocoa into cups, dividing evenly.
~ Top each with a small dollop of coffee whipped cream and garnish with small candy cane, 
    if desired.

Tips and Tricks:

  • You can make the cocoa a day ahead.  Just let cool, cover and chill.  Bring to a simmer before continuing.
  • You can make the whipped cream 2 hours ahead.  Cover and chill and rewhisk before using. 


Recipe slightly adapted from Bon Appetit.