Pre-Blizzard Spicy Hot Chocolate

They say we’re going to have a blizzard tonight. I’m so deep underground, scrambling to finish my freelance work, that I doubt it will make much difference to me—except that tomorrow I’ll look out the window longingly to a sparkly white snowscape, instead of the gray industrial wasteland/BQE traffic that is my current view.

In the meantime, while Stephen and I gird ourselves for the coming deluge, our apartment is chilly. Heat is infrequent in our tumbledown building—or I should say, it comes on at odd hours. We’ll go to sleep buried under a down comforter and two blankets, with the radiators open wide but ice-cold, only to be blasted awake at 4:30 AM by a sudden symphony of pings, squeals, and hisses. But right now, at 3:15 on a Saturday afternoon, nada. A cup of hot chocolate seemed like just the thing to cozy me up—made the decadent way, with real chocolate melted in milk. As it happens I’ve been trying to drink more milk lately, and since I hate the stuff the only way I can choke it down is mixed with some variety of chocolaty goodness. Killing two birds with one stone, this is, and with the added kick of cinnamon and cayenne it’s a borderline sophisticated way to take a break from my endless amounts of work (cue violins).

Spicy Hot Chocolate
Serves 2

3 oz high-quality dark chocolate, chopped [I used Scharffen Berger 70% Cacao]
2 cups milk [I used 1%]
1 t. cinnamon
¼ t. cayenne pepper
Pinch salt
1-2 t. sugar, optional [this depends on how bitter your chocolate is]

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until it’s hot but not boiling. Serve immediately.