Yes, I’m posting about hot chocolate in June. As I write this, it is 48 degrees outside and our heat is on. Yes, I’m clearly smitten with bourbon and it finds its way into so many things I’ve made lately. And no, I don’t only consume chocolate, heavy cream, and bourbon, though if I were the type of person with a raging metabolism, I probably would. As good as it is on the rocks with ginger ale and lime on a hot summer day, the sweet warmth of bourbon also serves as an excellent comfort drink for a wet, cold-to-the-bone kind of day.
Photo.net, where I served as Editor in Chief for the majority of 2013 and 2014, asked me to write an article on food photography recently. Though a little nerve wracking, it was such a joy to boot my family out for a day, prep food like mad, and use my entire home as a photo studio. I used various toys to prop my camera up, chairs as ladders, and birthday cards as light reflectors. It was a gigantic, happy mess in here after I was finished. Bourbon hot chocolate happened to be one of the featured photos from the article highlighting the concept of garnishing and it would be a shame to share just a photograph without the recipe for this cup of euphoria.
Chris and I have very different opinions on hot chocolate. He likes the packets with the little petrified marshmallows that puff up when you add water. I like the rich, super chocolatey homemade sort. With bourbon. And cream.
bourbon hot chocolate, just enough for one
1 cup of milk (coconut works well if you want to go vegan)
2 1/2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
1 heaping tablespoon of sugar plus a pinch for the cream
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
2 tablespoons of bourbon
1/4 cup of whipping cream for the toping
chocolate shavings if you are serving for guests (or if you are feeling a little fancy)
1/2 teaspoon of almond flavoring
Whip the cream, almond flavor, and pinch of sugar until there are stiff peaks and set aside.
Add cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla, bourbon, and 1/4 cup of the milk to a small pan. Heat and whisk until it is warm and smooth (it will look just like melted chocolate). Add the remaining milk and heat until it is warm (do not boil).
Pour into your favorite mug and scoop the whipped cream on top. Garnish with your chocolate shavings if you have them.