Chocolate-y Christmas Cafe au Lait
Total Time: 26 min
Prep 10 min
Inactive 10 min
Cook 6 min
Yield:8 to 10 servings
This is a take-off of sorts on Cafe Brulot, Hot Chocolate, and Cafe au Lait. Both the Cafe Brulot and Cafe au Lait are served in New Orleans, the Brulot after dinner, and au Lait with breakfast. Cafe Brulot consists of orange peel strips, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and sugar being ignited with liqueurs in a large bowl to which black coffee is added. Traditional cafe au lait is scalded milk and black coffee simultaneously poured into a cup or carafe. Both are served piping hot. And the chocolate added to this gives the coffee a definite hot chocolate twist, sure to please all age groups. For a stronger coffee flavor, add another 1/2 cup hot coffee to the mixture.
* 1 1/2 cups whole milk
* 2/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar
* 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
* 2 ( 2-inch) cinnamon sticks
* 1 strip orange peel, about 1/2 inch by 3 inches
* 10 whole cloves
* 2 to 2 1/2 cups hot brewed strong coffee
* 1/4 cup cold heavy cream
* Ground cinnamon, for garnish
* Cocoa, for garnish
In a medium saucepan, whisk together the milk, 2/3 cup of the sugar, and cocoa until smooth. Add the cinnamon sticks, orange peel and cloves and bring to a simmer, stirring, to dissolve the sugar and prevent the cocoa from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Simmer for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat, cover, and let steep for 10 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whip the cream with the remaining 1 teaspoon sugar until thick and frothy, and peaks form. Set aside.
Strain the milk mixture into a coffee pot or carafe and add 2 cups of the hot coffee (2 1/2 cups for stronger coffee flavor, to taste). Pour into cups or small mugs and top each with a dollop of the sweetened whipped cream.
Christmas Fruit Cake