Hot Chocolate Master Blend
Use the Master Blend to create all the Study recipes, as a group or individually. Choose a high quality chocolate such as Valrhona or Callebaut.
• 2-1/2 pounds high-quality milk chocolate finely chopped (7-1/4 cups)
• 12 ounces high-quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (64 to 65% cacao) (2-1/4 cups)
• Pinch kosher salt
In two 15x10x1-inch baking sheets combine all ingredients; freeze for about one hour. In large food processor process half the mixture to fine, even granules. Transfer to large bowl. Repeat with remaining mixture. (Do not process too long, or chocolate may melt if processor becomes warm.) Makes about 9 cups.
The Master Blend can be divided for the Study:
• Reserve 3 cups Master Blend for packaging as a gift.
• Reserve 3 cups Master Blend for Classic Hot Chocolate.
• Reserve 2 cups Master Blend for Chocolate Sauce/Ganache. (Chocolate Sauce/Ganache will be divided for preparing Christmas Ale Pops, Hot Chocolate Marshmallow Cakes, and Candy Cane Cookies.)
• You will have extra for your own enjoyment.
• 2 cups Hot Chocolate Master Blend
• 3/4 cup whipping cream
• Pinch kosher salt
• 1 teaspoon light-color corn syrup
Place Master Blend in small bowl. In small saucepan, bring cream just to boil; pour over blend. Let sit 5 minutes. Add salt and corn syrup; mix until smooth. Reserve 3/4 cup for Candy Cane Cookies, 1/2 cup for Christmas Ale Pops, and 1/4 cup for Hot Chocolate Marshmallow Cakes. Store mixture, covered, in refrigerator. Makes 2 cups.
Tip: To reheat, place 1 cup chocolate sauce/ganache in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave, uncovered, on 50% power (medium) 2 minutes, stirring once.
Classic Hot Chocolate with Frothed Egg Nog Milk
If you’re planning on just making Classic Hot Chocolate,* prepare and chill the Frothed Egg Nog Milk ahead of time. Serve demitasse portions for the Study or after dinner.
• 2 cups whole milk
• 2 cups whipping cream
• 3 cups Hot Chocolate Master Blend
• 1 whole nutmeg
• 2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks, broken into small pieces
• 1 cup whole milk
• 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
• 1 whole vanilla bean, split lengthwise
In large saucepan, combine 2 cups whole milk and 2 cups whipping cream. Bring just to boil over medium-high heat, stirring often. Remove saucepan from heat. Add Master Blend to hot milk mixture; let stand 5 minutes. (Do not stir.)
After 5 minutes, whisk hot chocolate until smooth. If preparing the Study, reserve half the hot chocolate (2-1/2 cups) for the Christmas Ale Pops. Reserve 1 cup for Hot Chocolate Marshmallow Cakes. Place hot chocolate for both in airtight containers and chill until ready to use. Place remaining 1-1/2 cups hot chocolate in another airtight container and chill until ready to use.*
Before serving, use a meat mallet or hammer to break open whole nutmeg. Add nutmeg pieces and cinnamon stick pieces to small skillet. Heat over medium heat about 3 minutes or until just toasted, stirring frequently. (Do not burn.) In small saucepan combine 1 cup milk and sugar with toasted nutmeg and cinnamon pieces. Bring just to boil over medium heat. (Watch carefully as milk mixture will foam up quickly.) Remove saucepan from heat. Scrape vanilla beans from pod; add to milk mixture. Cover; chill 1 hour. Strain spices out of milk mixture.
To serve eight 1-1/2 ounce portions, pour reserved 1-1/2 cups hot chocolate mixture into small saucepan. Heat over medium heat until heated through (160°F), stirring occasionally. Heat chilled Egg Nog Milk mixture in another small saucepan over medium heat until steaming.
Using handheld milk frother, immersion blender, or wire whisk, blend or whisk milk mixture vigorously until frothy. Pour hot chocolate into eight 2-ounce espresso cups. Top with frothed milk mixture. Add additional frothed milk as desired. Makes 8 (1-1/2-ounce) servings.
*Tip: If desired, reserve all the hot chocolate mixture (5 cups) to heat and serve in large mugs.