Serves: Makes 4 (½-pint) jars of drinking chocolate
- 1¼ pounds (20 ounces) bittersweet chocolate (61 to 66 percent cacao), finely chopped
- 2¼ cups heavy (whipping) cream
- 2 soft, plump whole vanilla beans, split and scraped
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground chipotle chile powder
- ¼ cup light corn syrup
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
Procedures:Irresistible, especially on a cold winter’s day, this hot chocolate drink is deeply rich, vanilla-perfumed, and chilecharged— an ideal gift for friends who ski, snowboard, or ice skate. You make the decadent base, pour it into jars, and refrigerate until it sets like a firm ganache. Tie the decorative jars with ribbon and attach a recipe card. Spooned from the jar into a warm mug, the chocolate is stirred with hot or steamed milk for an indulgent, après-ski treat by the fire—a cozy, delicious gift.
- Wash the jars, including the lids, in hot, soapy water and dry thoroughly. Alternatively, run the jars through the regular cycle of your dishwasher; wash the lids by hand.
- Place the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan over low heat, bring the cream, vanilla beans (seeds and pods), cinnamon, and chipotle chile to a boil, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat. Using a silicone spatula, press the vanilla pods against the side of the pan to remove any remaining seeds and cream. Discard the pods.
- Immediately pour the cream mixture over the chocolate, stirring constantly until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Add the corn syrup and almond extract, stirring until incorporated.
- Pour the chocolate ganache into the prepared jars, dividing it evenly and leaving ½-inch headspace. Wipe the rims clean and secure the lids. Label and refrigerate.
Storing: Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks