Almond Milk Hot Cocoa

Like all things (with the exception of cheese), I like snow in moderation. From the comfort of my cozy apartment, the snow swirling through the streets brings me back to my childhood. Sledding, wet socks, my mom inside ready with hot chocolate and a warm blanket. On the flip side, in my adulthood, snow represents hassle. Icy roads, salty cars, wind chills so cold you can feel it in your bones.

Mr. E shoveling our cars out of the driveway – I helped too!

To combat some of the winter chill, we hunkered down with gourmet hot chocolate around our TV to watch some quality films like The Fifth Element.

4 cups unsweetened almond milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
2 ounces dark or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
Almond whipped cream (1 cup heavy cream, 1 Tbsp granulated sugar, 1 tsp almond extract whipped to stiff peaks)

Bring milk, vanilla, and cinnamon to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat, and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Whisk in cocoa, chocolate, sugar, cayenne pepper, and salt, whisking vigorously until mixture is foamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Divide among mugs. Garnish with fresh almond whipped cream.

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