Since the first of the year, my husband and I have totally changed everything about how we eat. It is a vegan-style eating plan, that also cuts out wheat and sugar. We eat lots of vegetables, fruits and beans, and only about a cup of rice or quinoa a day. Mike, of course, has already lost 20 pounds, and has no plans to ever eat another way. In fact he wants me to make him a lentil cake for his birthday next week! For me, though, the hardest part has been not having my daily chocolate fix. Chocolate is medicine for me, and I realized, after a month without it, that I don't think I can manage my life, and still be happy, unless I can find a way to eat it in moderation.
Well, yesterday, after browsing the aisles at our local discount grocery store, I spied a can of Dagoba sipping chocolate. Although I had never tried it, I knew it had to be good, because Dagoba makes the yummiest of chocolate bars. Even better, this sipping chocolate was flavored with chili and cinnamon -- my favorite! I snatched up a container, and came home and made a cup. I don't know if it is because I had been abstaining for a month, but this stuff is AMAZING!!! I don't think I can afford to spend the $12 retail price on a regular basis, so I figured I better come up with a copycat recipe.
If you don't like a little spice in your life, this recipe is not for you. Don't even bother! But if you, like me, think sriracha is the condiment of the Gods, get disappointed when the salsa is too mild, or have ever added red pepper flakes to your slice of pizza, I promise you will be very, very happy with this recipe.
The cast of characters: Unsweetened cocoa powder -- go for the nice stuff, it is the base flavor of this drink, semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips, honey or brown sugar, cinnamon and cayenne pepper. A word on cayenne...every packet of dried spice is going to rate differently on the spicy scale -- you never know until you try it -- so start with less, because you can always add more.
The addition of the chocolate chips is what turns this cocoa into something amazing. Along with the kick of the cayenne, it has a very silky-smooth, luxurious texture.
"When we're together, even the coldest day feels warm." Kind of romantic, huh? For some reason spicy hot chocolate seems a lot sexier than the regular stuff!
Spicy Hot Chocolate
1 cup milk, or milk alternative
1 T. brown sugar or 2 tsp. honey
2 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 T. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/16-1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
Heat milk on the stove, along with one tablespoon of brown sugar or two teaspoons of honey, until it start to steam and is very, very hot. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, assemble your dry ingredients. When the milk is barely simmering, dump in the cocoa mix, and whisk until all is incorporated and the chocolate is melted, at least one minute.