Aztec Hot Chocolate
This red-hot chocolate milk will warm your insides, to say the least.
By Leslie Bilderback 02/01/2011
4 dried pasilla chile pods
4 cups boiling water
1 quart half-and-half
¼ cup brown sugar
2 cinnamon sticks, crushed
½ teaspoon anise seed
1 pound bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1. Preheat the oven to 400˚. Spread chile pods on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 5 minutes or until soft. Cool, remove stems and seeds. Cover chile pods with boiling water, and steep for 30 minutes.
2. In a large saucepan, combine half-and-half, brown sugar, anise and cinnamon sticks. (Mexican chocolate has cinnamon in it already, so if you decide to use it, omit the sticks.) Simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from heat. Add chocolate and vanilla beans, and stir to melt.
3. Transfer soaked chiles to a blender. Blend until smooth, adding a little chocolate mixture if needed to facilitate blending. Combine chile paste with remaining chocolate mixture, stir and strain. Rewarm before serving.