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Spiced Hot Chocolate

Cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg add warm spicy tones to this delicious, creamy hot chocolate. The spices in this hot chocolate can make an ordinary day seem like a special occasion.

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Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 1/2 cups

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate

1 cup water

3 cups whole milk

4 cinnamon sticks

5 whole cloves

2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated or ground nutmeg

  1. Finely chop the chocolate.

  2. Place the chopped chocolate and the water in the top of a double boiler over hot water.

  3. Stir often with a rubber spatula until the chocolate is completely melted.

  4. In a medium heavy-duty saucepan, combine the milk, cinnamon sticks, and cloves.

  5. Warm over medium heat until the milk begins to boil.

  6. Stir the milk into the chocolate mixture.

  7. Remove the top of the double boiler.

  8. Wipe the bottom and sides of the pan very dry.

  9. Pour the mixture into the saucepan.

  10. Add 2/3 cup sugar.

  11. Bring to a boil over medium heat.

  12. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

  13. Use a slotted spoon to remove the cinnamon sticks.

  14. Rinse the cinnamon sticks, dry with paper towels, and save to use for garnish.

  15. Add 1/2 cup cream to the mixture in the pan.

  16. Bring the mixture to a simmer over low heat.

  17. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg.

  18. In a small mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to whip the remaining 1/2 cup cream until frothy.

  19. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.

  20. Whip until the cream holds soft peaks.

  21. Divide the hot chocolate among 4 mugs.

  22. Top each mug with a big scoop of the whipped cream.

  23. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg on top of the four mugs and garnish them with the reserved cinnamon sticks.

Per serving: Calories 575 (From fat 227); Fat 25g (Saturated 16g); Cholesterol 27mg; Sodium 93mg; Carbohydrate 78g (Dietary fiber 4g); Protein 10g.

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