Sometimes, inspiration comes from the unlikeliest of places. Such as the absolutely delicious cups of orange-infused hot cocoa we had tonight. My mid-morning snack was a whole fresh orange, followed by a couple of pieces of creamy Lindt dark chocolate.
Hence this hot cocoa, kicked up a big notch with fresh orange zest. The combination, which is at the heart of Starbucks’ Mocha Valencia, is a winner- especially on cold, rainy nights, enjoyed preferably in front of a roaring fire.
Also, if you’re lactose-intolerant, this is just as delicious with rice or soy milk.
Orange-Infused Hot Cocoa
1 liter whole milk
zest of one medium-sized orange
300 grams dark chocolate, broken or chopped up into small pieces
4 tablespoons brown or muscovado sugar
whipped cream & cocoa powder for sprinkling
In a saucepan, combine milk and orange zest, and bring slowly to a simmer. Remove from heat, and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes. This is your orange-infused milk.
Return the saucepan to heat, and add chocolate bits and sugar. Over low heat, stir constantly until chocolate is melted.
Pour into mugs, and pipe whipped cream on top. Sprinkle with cocoa powder.