One of the benefits of being a food blogger (or really any food writer), has to be the little perks. Sure, after you’re done cooking, that lovely dish awaits you. But the list doesn’t end there. In the twenty-first century, food bloggers have become part of an exciting trend—developing recipes for food enthusiasts and sampling new products. Many bloggers partner with specialty food companies to bring new dishes to their company’s website and a whole sea of new readers to their blog.
Only on the Internet does such symbiosis work so perfectly! Of the many companies I’ve worked with, I must say one sticks out the most—Marx Foods. Marx Foods is a specialty foods items store that traditionally shipped exotic ingredients to four and five star kitchens (we’re talking everything from Kangaroo Meat to edible flowers). A year or two ago, they took these same products online offering the culinary expensive (if not impossible) at affordable rates for at home chefs.
In 2011, I won the Chile Recipe Development Challenge with my Chocolate Azteca Cupcakes. I was so intoxicated with the combination of dark chocolate and chilies, I couldn’t help but make one more dish. This piping hot cup of Chocolate Azteca Hot Chocolate warms in surprising ways during the winter months. Bringing you the warming comfort of a traditional hot chocolate, it kicks into overdrive with the spicy warming aftertaste. For a new take on an old favorite, I suggest using those dried chilies from your summer garden for the spicy component. Or, head over to Marx Foods’ website for their endless variety of spicy chilies.
Chocolate Azteca Hot Chocolate
This recipe asks for 1 to 2 teaspoons chili powder from dried chilies, but can easily be substituted with regular store bought chili powder. For the simple instructions on how to turn dried chilies into powder, see the instructional cooking techniques at the beginning of this book.
* 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
* 2 1/2 cups milk (can use skim, but whole works best here)
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1/8 of a cup cocoa powder
* 1-2 teaspoons chili powder from dried chilies (can use store bought)
* 3 tablespoons honey
* whipped cream and almonds, to garnish
1.) Add heavy cream, milk, vanilla, and cocoa powder to a medium saucepan. Warm over medium heat until mixture comes to a simmer. Reduce head to low and allow the mixture to cook for 5-10 minutes or until the mixture is thick enough that it coats your stirring utensil. Make sure the brew does not boil over.
2.) Add chili powder and honey to mixture stirring continuously. Pour into 4 cups and top with whipped cream and almonds.
Written by: Helana Brigman