Monday, March 17, 2014

Recipe - Shamrock Peppermint Hot Chocolate

St. Patrick's Day! What do you know about St. Patrick? Did you know he lived in the 5th century and was brought to Ireland as a slave when he was 16 years old? Did you know that it's believed a silver container was crafted to hold St. Patrick's severed arm? Neither did I! History is insane!

When I was growing up, St. Patrick's Day pretty much meant McDonald's would start serving their Shamrock Shake. I haven't had one in years, but since that minty, creamy flavor is a great memory for me around this time of year, I thought I'd try to recreate it in a hot chocolate.

 The ingredients are pretty simple:

¾ cup heavy whipping cream
¾ cup 2% milk
5 tbsp white chocolate, chopped
1 heaping tsp powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp peppermint extract
2 drops green food coloring

I'm using Ghirardelli premium white baking chocolate. Besides the cocoa butter and sugar, it has nonfat dry milk and milk fat in it, which makes it not the best white chocolate available. But it works fine for this recipe.

The peppermint extract I picked up at a local grocer, and the vanilla extract is some I found from Madecasse. Madecasse is an amazing chocolate maker in Madagascar. Top notch products!

The blend of 2% milk and heavy cream gives it a wonderful creaminess, and the powdered sugar adds a little extra sweetness. If you get a really good white chocolate, you could try leaving out the sugar and half the vanilla.

Warm the milk and cream on the stovetop. Once it's pretty hot, add the sugar first and whisk it around a bit, let it start dissolving. As the milk gets close to boiling, add in the chopped white chocolate. Once that's incorporated smoothly, add the vanilla and peppermint extracts, and finish with the food coloring.

It's St Patrick's Day. It's important that it be green. Add 3 drops if you're feeling crazy!

I'm serving mine topped with some homemade vanilla whipped cream, green sugar sprinkles, and a clover. Minty, smooth, and rich!