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SWEET TRUTH: Chocolate Recipes

Our two sessions of the February program The Sweet Truth: Chocolate Is Good for You led by chocolate connoisseur Cynthia Cowan had nearly 100 participants!  And, they all wanted her recipes.  Responding to audience requests, Ms.Cowan has sent us 2 recipes and a link to additional information.  The recipes are pasted in below.


Hot Chocolate with Chile Pepper
2 cups boiling water
1 chile pepper, cut in half, seeds removed (with gloves)
5 cups half & half
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
1 to 2 cinnamon sticks
8 or more ounces bittersweet chocolate or 3 (or more) tablets Mexican Chocolate, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
2 tablespoons granulated sugar or honey, or to taste
l tablespoon almonds or hazelnuts, ground extra fine/span>
Whipped cream
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add chilie pepper to boiling water. Cook until liquid is reduced to 1 cup. Remove chile pepper; strain water and set aside.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine half & half, vanilla bean & cinnamon stick until bubbles appear around the edge.  Reduce heat to low; add chocolate and sugar or honey; whisk occasionally until chocolate is melted & sugar dissolves.  Turn off heat; remove vanilla bean & cinnamon stick. Add chile-infused water, a little at a time, tasting to make sure the flavor isn’t too strong.  If chocolate is too thick, thin with a little more half & half.
Serve in small cups and offer ground almonds or hazelnuts & whipped cream.

French Hot Chocolate
6 - 8 ounces fine-quality semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup water, room temperature
3 tablespoons hot water
3 cups hot half & half, divided
Sugar to taste
Whipped cream, if desired
In a double boiler over low heat, combine chocolate and 1/4 cup water until melted, stirring occasionally; stir until smooth.
Remove top of double boiler pan from heat.  Whisk in 3 tablespoons hot water.  Pour into pitcher or divide among individual 4 mugs.  Either stir 3/4 cup hot half & half into each mug or serve half & half in a separate pitcher.  Pass sugar & whipped cream in separate bowls; add to taste.  Makes 4 servings.

For more information, Cynthia recommends: http://whatscookingamerica.net/beverage/hotchocolate.htm

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