Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Hazelnut Hot Chocolate

Hazelnut Hot Chocolate
1/2 cup hazelnuts, whole, skin on
10 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 cups whole milk, cold
1 cup heavy cream, cold
1/4 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder, European-style
2 Tablespoons powdered sugar, or as needed
1/4 cup chocolate hazelnut spread, store-bought or homemade
1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped into stiff peaks, for topping

Preheat the oven to 300°F. Toast the hazelnuts in the oven until lightly brown, about 10 to 15 minutes, being careful not to let them burn. Once toasted, place them on a towel and rub well to remove the skins.

Place skinned hazelnuts into the Vitamix or blender container and secure lid.  
Select Variable 6.  (6 of 10 speeds)

Use the On/Off switch to quickly pulse until just evenly ground, but not floury; reserve.

In a saucepan, stir together the cold milk, cream, cocoa powder, and sugar and bring to a simmer over low heat; make sure there aren’t any lumps. Remove from the heat and pour into the bowl with the ground hazelnuts. Let steep for at least 1 hour, until cool. You may do this the day before and let the mixture rest in the refrigerator.

Strain the milk-hazelnut-cocoa mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a saucepan, making sure you press the hazelnuts well to release the flavor. Heat the milk until it is warm, but not boiling, over low heat, remove from the heat, add the blended chocolate, chocolate hazelnut spread (see recipe), and mix well until the chocolate is melted. When ready to serve, reheat the hot chocolate and serve immediately with a dollop of whipped cream.

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