Mexican Chocolate Fondue
2 cups coffee
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
3 cinnamon sticks, preferably Ceylon
1 cup milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon ground chipotle chili powder
8 ounces Mexican chocolate, chopped (recommended: Ibarra)
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
Banana slices or banana chips
Plain salted popcorn
Pound cake squares
Candied orange peels
Fried cinnamon fritters, recipe follows
Heat the coffee, vanilla beans and seeds, and cinnamon sticks in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil and continue to cook until the liquid has reduced to about 1/4 cup, about 10 minutes.
Add the milk, cream and chipotle powder to the pan, lower the heat to medium, and bring to a gentle simmer. Place the Mexican chocolate and the semisweet chocolate in a medium-sized bowl. Strain the milk and cream mixture over the chocolate, and stir, using a whisk to melt the chocolates. It may be necessary to place the bowl over a double boiler to ensure that all of the chocolate will melt smoothly.
Place the chocolate in a fondue pot over a low flame to keep warm, and serve with assorted dipping ingredients.
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar plus 2 tablespoons
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk, plus more as needed
Vegetable oil, for frying
Preheat deep fryer to 350 degrees F.
In a small bowl, combine 2 teaspoons cinnamon and 2 tablespoons sugar, set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, remaining cinnamon, remaining sugar, and the salt. In a separate bowl, combine milk and egg. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, adjusting the amount of milk to make a thick batter. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Drop heaping tablespoons of fritter batter into hot oil, frying 5 to 6 at a time. Stir occasionally for even browning. Fry fritters 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown on all sides. Remove fritters from fryer and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
Dust with cinnamon sugar. Serve with Mexican Chocolate Fondue.
Yield: 4 servings