Recipe by Marcia K. Stanley, MS, RD
Unexpected guests are no problem with this hot chocolate recipe. Just make the chocolate mixture and freeze individual portions when needed. When guest arrive, pop a chocolate disk into a mug, add milk and microwave.
Chocolate-Dipped Cinnamon Sticks (optional, see below)
2 cups bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons instant espresso coffee powder or instant coffee crystals
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground chipotle chile pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
9 cups milk (fat-free, 2% or whole), divided
3 cups miniature marshmallows (optional), divided
Chocolate syrup (optional)
If desired, prepare Chocolate-Dipped Cinnamon Sticks for garnish. See below for directions.
Line twelve 2 1/2-inch muffin pan cups with paper baking cups. Set aside.
In medium microwave-safe bowl combine chocolate chips, whipping cream, espresso powder, cinnamon, chipotle chile pepper and salt. Microwave on high (100% power) for 2 to 3 minutes or until smooth, whisking every minute. Evenly portion into baking cups. Place muffin pan into freezer. Freeze for 2 hours. Remove filled baking cups from muffin pan. Place in resealable plastic freezer bag. Store in freezer for up to 3 months.
For each serving, remove 1 filled baking cup from freezer. Remove paper baking cup from chocolate. Place chocolate in a 9- to 10-ounce mug. Pour 3/4 cup of the milk over chocolate. Microwave on high (100% power) until smooth and hot, stirring every minute. (Allow 1 1/2 to 2 minutes for 1 mug or 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 minutes for 2 mugs.)
If desired, top each mug of hot chocolate with 1/4 cup of the miniature marshmallows and drizzle with chocolate syrup. Serve with Chocolate-Dipped Cinnamon Sticks as stirrers, if desired.
Chocolate-Dipped Cinnamon Sticks
In small microwave-safe cup combine 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips and 2 teaspoons shortening. Microwave on high (100% power) for 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth, stirring every 30 seconds. Dip one end of twelve 6-inch-long cinnamon sticks into chocolate mixture. Place on wax-paper-lined baking sheet. Let stand until firm.
In another small microwave-safe cup place 1/2 cup white chocolate chips and 2 teaspoons shortening. Microwave on medium-high (70% power) for 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth, stirring every 30 seconds. Pour into sandwich bag. Snip off corner of bag. Drizzle white chocolate, by pressing it through cut corner of bag, onto dark chocolate on cinnamon sticks. Return sticks to wax-paper-lined baking sheet. Let stand until firm. Place in single layer in freezer container. Cover and freeze until needed.