Cayenne-Infused Hot Cocoa

The ancient Aztecs first developed cocoa as a beverage and it was invariably spiked with fiery chili peppers, which compliment the fruity, earthy bitterness of cocoa in an amazing way. Cayenne-infused sweetened hot cocoa is a libation fit for the gods, and tasting it you'll understand how chocolate got it's botanical name Theobroma, which means drink of the gods. If you'd like to replicate a more authentic Aztec drink, substitute the more emphatically flavored natural cocoa powder for the Dutch-processed.

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1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring milk to simmer, stirring frequently.
2. Add cocoa, sugar and cayenne. Whisk vigorously until fully dissolved and frothy.

Top with whipped cream and a light dusting of more cayenne. Or substitute ground chipotle chilies for the cayenne to create a smolderingly smoky version.


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