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
Assorted Dipping Ingredients:
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.
Fried Cinnamon Fritters:
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