For this month’s Recipe Redux, we’re honoring the movies (as in, the Oscar’s are coming up!). We’re honoring the infamous “I’ll have what she’s having” sandwich from When Harry Met Sally, the rustic ratatouille made by an adorable rat in Ratatouille, the blueberry pie from Violet’s three course bubble gum in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (the Gene Wilder version, of course). What a great way to celebrate the Oscar’s.
As I thought about what to post, I realized something; my favorite movies have little to no food in them. My all-time favorite film would have to be The Princess Bride, and the only thing they ate in that was iocaine powder. No thank you. And while I would love to make the aforementioned ratatouille…it’s really not the season for good eggplant and zucchini. I’ll revisit that one in August. Eventually, I came around to hot chocolate, as featured in Chocolat. Maybe it’s because I love Lena Olin. Or maybe it’s because Johnny Depp is just so attractive in that film. Or maybe it’s because, like Depp’s character, when it comes down to it, my favorite version of chocolate is in its hot, liquid form.
My love for hot chocolate runs deep. I have the best memories of playing in the snow (anyone remember the blizzard of ’96? Best. Winter. Ever.), then running inside to thaw out and drink hot chocolate with marshmallows. I’m convinced that there is no other way to spend your childhood. While this hot chocolate was most likely from a Swiss Miss kind of mix, I slowly developed a more appreciative pallet for the gourmet stuff.
In 11th grade, I spent a semester in Israel. Instead of Starbucks, Israel has its own chain of coffee shops called Aroma. Oh my god do I love Aroma. In addition to phenomenal sandwiches and a piece of chocolate with every drink you order, they have something called the mekupelet hot chocolate. Mekupelet is a weird looking chocolate bar from Israel that crumbles in this deliciously appealing way. I really don’t know how else to describe it. Anyway, this hot chocolate involves putting pieces of one of these bars in a mug, pouring steaming hot milk over it, and letting everything melt together. Of course, this was officially the only way I could ever drink hot chocolate from then on.
At some point I was introduced to spicy hot chocolate, and my love for this warm drink only grew. I totally spent a month in college trying to figure out the best combination of chocolate in spices. I also totally gained 5 pounds during this month (so worth it). Anyway, here is my dressed up, vegan version of spicy hot chocolate. It’s warm and delicious and creamy and comforting all while offering a nice kick and a complex flavor. Excuse me while I guzzle down an entire pan full of it.
Spicy Hot Chocolate
Serves 6 (or less, but it’s super rich)
4 cups almond milk
1 cup almond cashew cream
¼ teaspoon chipotle powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3.5 oz. dark chocolate
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 table spoon sugar
1. Break the chocolate up into small pieces and put them in a small saucepan. Add the milk and cream to the pan, and heat on medium-low.
2. When the chocolate begins to melt, add in the rest of the ingredients and stir thoroughly until everything is mixed in. Continue stirring frequently until you just can’t stand not drinking it anymore.
3. Pour hot chocolate into cups and serve immediately.