Do you remember the movie Chocolat with Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp? Before it was a movie it was also a great book. I own both the paperback and DVD versions of the story. Once a year I read the book and three times a year I watch the movie. Yes, I am obsessed with Johnny Depp, but I am also obsessed with the chocolate. In the movie there are so many scenes showcasing incredible chocolate foods and recipes that I swear you could get a cavity just from watching! One of my favorite scenes in the movie, besides when Alfred Molina wakes up in the window of chocolate, is when Maya makes a rich, spicy hot chocolate for a customer. It looks so decadent I am sure even I could only handle one or two sips, but I dream of it nevertheless. This dream got the better of me during a recent snowstorm so I researched Chocolate Maya and came up with this recipe. It is spicy and dense to be sure, but has some many complex flavors you are able to drink it sip by sip over the course of an afternoon.
based on the movie Chocolat and a recipe from the Phoenix Sun Times
2 cups water
1 red chile pepper, cut in half and deseeded
5 cups 2% milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2 tablespoons honey
Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the chile and boil until the liquid has reduced by half. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large saucepan over medium heat warm the milk, vanilla bean and cinnamon until bubbles begin to form around the edge. Reduce the heat and add in the chocolate and honey and stir until everything is dissolved. Turn off the heat and remove the vanilla bean. Then stir in the chile water until everything is combined.
Serve with whipped cream!