Mexican Hot Chocolate (Makes 2 to 3 Cups)
Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten,
Photo: Quentin Bacon
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
4 ½ ounces bittersweet chocolate, such a Lindt, chopped
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Smallest pinch cayenne pepper
Long cinnamon sticks for stirrers, optional
Place the milk and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Off the heat, stir in the chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper with a wooden spoon and allow to steep for 3 minutes. Reheat the hot chocolate over low heat until it simmers.
Strain the chocolate into a measuring cup and pour into mugs. Stir with cinnamon sticks, if desired.