Chocolate-y Christmas Cafe au Lait
This is a take-off of sorts on Cafe Brulot, Hot Chocolate, and Cafe au Lait. Both the Cafe Brulot and Cafe au Lait are served in New Orleans[, the Brulot after dinner, and au Lait with breakfast. Cafe Brulot consists of orange peel strips, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and sugar being ignited with liqueurs in a large bowl to which black coffee is added. Traditional cafe au lait is scalded milk and black coffee simultaneously poured into a cup or carafe. Both are served piping hot. And the chocolate added to this gives the coffee a definite hot chocolate twist, sure to please all age groups. For a stronger coffee flavor, add another 1/2 cup hot coffee to the mixture.]
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 2/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 2 ( 2-inch) cinnamon sticks
- 1 strip orange peel, about 1/2 inch by 3 inches
- 10 whole cloves
- 2 to 2 1/2 cups hot brewed strong coffee
- 1/4 cup cold heavy cream
- Ground cinnamon, for garnish
- Cocoa, for garnish
In a medium saucepan, whisk together the milk, 2/3 cup of the sugar, and cocoa until smooth. Add the cinnamon sticks, orange peel and cloves and bring to a simmer, stirring, to dissolve the sugar and prevent the cocoa from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Simmer for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat, cover, and let steep for 10 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whip the cream with the remaining 1 teaspoon sugar until thick and frothy, and peaks form. Set aside.
Strain the milk mixture into a coffee pot or carafe and add 2 cups of the hot coffee (2 1/2 cups for stronger coffee flavor, to taste). Pour into cups or small mugs and top each with a dollop of the sweetened whipped cream.
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