My Spicy Hot Chocolate to Avoid the Winter Blahs

Did you know that the first hot chocolate actually contained peppers. I guess that helped to warm it up even more! And here's a recipe that you might want to try. Yes, I found one that contained a chili pepper!

2 cups boiling water
1 chili pepper, cut in half, seeds removed (with gloves)
5 cups whole milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 to 2 cinnamon sticks
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2 tablespoons granulated sugar to taste
l nutmeg to be grated as needed
Whipped cream

Using a large pot, add the chili pepper to your boiling water and simmer until you are left with one cup of water. Pull out the chili pepper and then strain the water. Put aside until we next need it.

Turn the stove to a setting for medium heat and combine the milk, vanilla bean and cinnamon stick. As soon as you notice bubbles appear around the edge of the pot, reduce the heat to low and then add your chocolate and sugar. Whisk the milk until the chocolate has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Shut off the heat, remove the vanilla bean and the cinnamon stick and then add the spicy water bit by bit. You get to do a bit of taste testing until the taste is just right! Depending on how you like your hot chocolate, you might find the mixture a little thicker than you might like. If that is the case, all you have to do is add a little more milk!

Serve in glass cups, with a nice dollop of whipping cream and a little nutmeg grated on top!

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