Après-ski or après a fabulous meal, Chef Ray’s Spiced Hot Chocolate is a decadent treat. Black peppercorns add a kick that spices up this comforting beverage. Honey and vanilla balance out the heat. And Valrhona pure caraïbe French chocolate makes it a true pleasure.

Chef  Ray’s Spiced Hot Chocolate

YIELD: 12–14 four-ounce servings

1 qt milk

1/3 cup sugar

2 tbsp honey

1 cinnamon stick

1 vanilla bean

10 black peppercorns (cracked)

Zest of 1 lemon

8 oz. Valrhona pure caraïbe or any good dark chocolate

1/4 cup extra dark cocoa powder

Bring the milk, sugar, honey, and all spices to a boil. Steep for about 10 minutes. Cut the chocolate into small pieces. Remove the milk mixture from the stove and add the chocolate and cocoa powder. Mix with a stick blender for 30 seconds then strain. Pour. Drink. Repeat.

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