Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thirsty Thursdays: Hot Chocolate with Orange and Anise Edition

Yeah, I know, its not a cocktail ... but I'm cold, I'm cranky, and I'm hormonal. Deal with it.

Today is all about dealing with it. Dealing with stuff I don't like, stuff I don't wanna do, and people I'd rather do without. Life is like that sometimes. So when I say "deal with it", of course, I mean chocolate. I mean I NEED chocolate. Stat!

Cocoa with Orange and Anise:
  • 10 ounces non-fat milk
  • 3 strips of fresh orange peel, about 2 inches each
  • 3 to 4 whole star anise
  • 3 tablespoons natural, unsweetened cocoa powder
  • scant 1 tablespoon agave nectar, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • 2 to 3 drops pure vanilla extract
  • grated nutmeg and or cinnamon for garnish, optional
Pour the milk into a small sauce pan and to it add the orange peel and whole star anise. Heat over medium to medium high heat until very hot, but not yet boiling.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the cocoa powder, agave nectar and water, stir well with a wire whisk to blend until a smooth paste is formed. Just before the milk begins to boil, remove from heat and add the cocoa paste - using a small spatula because you'll want to get every bit of that cocoa-y goodness. Whisk well with a wire whisk to combine and reheat gently if necessary. Add 2 to 3 drops of pure vanilla extract, stir to combine. Strain into a mug through a fine, mesh sieve and dust the top of cocoa with a bit of cinnamon and or freshly grated nutmeg if desired. Serve and enjoy, repeat as necessary!

As written, this recipe will yield one rich, delicious, intriguingly spiced cup of cocoa.

Chocolate and anise pair so beautifully together - its a stunning combination. And, c'mon, orange and chocolate are classic pure and simple. Each flavor is there, adding its bit to the mix, yet the finished cocoa will taste strongly of neither. There's a hint of orange in the back ground and the subtle spice of the anise adding air of mystery to the proceedings. Really, its delicious.

A brief word about the agave nectar - that's my choice, and I don't use much of it. If you prefer a sweeter cocoa, you could certainly use a tablespoon of sugar instead, or more agave if you like. Do as you see fit.

Lastly, if you really need a drink - go ahead and add a splash of Grand Marnier to mix. I couldn't hurt and might actually help!

One sip of this cocoa and I'm feeling more human already ... which is good news for the people who need to deal with me. Never underestimate the power of chocolate.

Cheers!

25 comments:

Heavenly Housewife said...

Wow, this is such a cool drink, great combination of flavours!

Yum Yucky said...

Eh, yes I am mostly certainly dealing with it. I hate this desk job! But I'm gonna deal with it. Aargh!

But that drink. It looks real good. Ahhh.....

stephchows said...

LOL I'll tell you... most days in the winter I'd take hot coco instead of a cocktail :) yum!

Mo Diva said...

nothing is more comforting than a mug of hot cocoa... NOTHING

:0D

Impromptu Diva said...

it's been raining hard here in socal...the weather definitely begs for a hot choco! Hot chocolate with orange and anise? hmmm very intriguing... i must try it!

The Diva on a Diet said...

Excellent, so its cocoas all around today. I'm glad!

Thanks, all! I agree, there's nothing like a comforting mug of cocoa. :)

pixelgal said...

You know you must make some for Papa Diva as we're currently having a cocoa crisis in the house. I'll go shopping for the anise!

The Diva on a Diet said...

pixelgal - A cocoa crisis chez Papa Diva? How will he survive?! If you've got the cocoa powder and the anise ... I'll remedy the situation tomorrow! :)

Fresh Local and Best said...

I really like this recipe! What's even better is that I have all the ingredients for this lux drink!

The Duo Dishes said...

Adding orange flavor to orange chocolate is so going to happen. So going to happen!

Kathleen said...

This sounds like the perfect combo of comfort and cocktail!

Sook said...

Ah, my hands are so cold and a cup of hot chocolate would make me warm! I'm craving this now. :)

Suzee said...

I've never had anise and chocolate together - I'm gonna have to try that :) Thanks!

5 Star Foodie said...

Hot chocolate sounds really good to me right now too! Perfect with orange and anise flavors!

Maven said...

I'm making myself one of these tonight. Perfect after the day I had...

Donna-FFW said...

Chocolate is the cure for a deal with it moment. I hear ya. Id add a shot of Kahlua.;)

Krissy @ The Food Addicts said...

i'm thirsty for some of your hot chocolate with orange! it's perfect for this crazy rainy weather in socal!

words...words...words... said...

YUM. I'm not a fan of anise, but I bet a little more cinnamon would make up for it nicely! And Grand Marnier is my favorite liqueur, you can bet some will find its way in.

Charmian @Christie's Corner said...

Chocolate and orange is one of my favourite flavour combinations. Not a huge fan of anise, but I've never had it with chocolate so it might surprise me.

Great recipe -- and low-fat too!! I can see this warming my toes on a cold afternoon.

Ca88andra said...

Sounds absolutely yummy!

Erika said...

Will you make this for me when I see you in NY in a few weeks? Please please please?

Catherine said...

Hello! I’m giving you the Happy 101Blog Award! Have a great weekend!

SSI said...

I love hot chocolate...it's often my "weekend treat". This looks great...my problem..I wouldn't want to stop at one...I'd probably triple it!

MrsLavendula said...

hmmm...sounds like this hot chocolate has quite a unique taste! i don't think ive had anise in a beverage before!

Kat said...

Chocolate is always a spectacular way to "deal with it!" Looks great.