Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Winter Storm Nemo: The Cocktail

Winter Storm Nemo has given me the gift of time to cook and bake:  a double batch of vegan chili, strawberry rhubarb crunch, a double batch of eggplant parmesean, cauliflower gorgonzola soup, muffins for the week...  Oh!  And three batches of ice cream, because I kind of forgot to use the heavy cream I bought for the study break on Friday night, oops. Which obviously means ice cream, right? 

And in the tradition of storms past (Hurricane Irene; Hurricane Sandy), and because I was so good at resisting the temptation of 50 pounds of chocolate at the aforementioned McCormick study break, I concocted a drink named after the lovely mix of snow, ice, and wind that came our way. 

Winter Storm Nemo
Inspiration from Martha Stewart's Blizzard Cocktail  (and any other smart person who mixes hot chocolate with alcohol)

While this drink uses hazelnut and black currant, this drink doesn't scream either flavor to me (like creme de menthe would, for example).  I love the interplay of nuts and fruit, so I decided straightaway to use Frangelico, and then I choose the black currant since it shares the same somewhat bitter undertone of chocolate.  Since this was a one shot deal (before I had to beg friends to come over and try my cocoa!  with booze!  please!  taste test!) --- well, I was a little worried.  But it turned out rather well, if I do say so myself. 

1 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons hot cocoa mix
1 ounce Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur)
1/2 ounce creme de cassis (black currant liqueur)

1.  The best way to make hot cocoa is with a cocomotion.  Yes, I know it's plastic.  Yes, I know it looks kind of hideous.  Yes, I know that you don't have room on your countertop.  If you don't have the room and drink hot cocoa more than once a week, make room.  Cocoa with water simply does not taste as creamy (the fat in the cocoa doesn't dissolve well in water).  And heating up milk can cause all sorts of problems, most likely that you'll scald it and it will taste nasty and burnt.  So - a machine that stirs and heat concurrently is exactly what you want, and this is exactly what a cocomotion does.  So do not hate.  It is the perfect tool for the job.
2.  Mix all ingredients in cocomotion.  Press the on button.  It will stop when your cocoa is at the perfect 194ºF.  (If you are making hot cocoa for more than just yourself, you can add the alcohol after the cocoa is mixed, no problem)

Now, my general opinion is that some things are worth splurging on.  You will never catch me drinking sugar free cocoa made with water or diet soda, just as you'll never catch me eating those weird Laughing Cow wedges of cheese-like product.  If you're going to go all out, go all out.  This drink comes in at a somewhat terrifying 400 calories, but hey, it's cold out, right?  And making snow angels counts as exercise, right?

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