Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. It’s a time of gathering and renewing family ties. It is about giving and sharing our blessings. It’s also about sitting in front of the fire and talking all night, sharing stories of christmases past and the visits of Santa.
Of course if you are going to be awake all night and talking all night long, while hoping to catch a glimpse of Santa, you can’t do it with a dry throat. This calls for a drink that is meant to be savored with friends while gathered around the tree watching the kids play. It is one of the best nights of the year.
Try Emeril Lagasse’s Chocolatey Christmas Cafe Au Lait. Though cafe au lait is normally a breakfast drink, this drink is perfect even if you drink this before your first meal of the day.
Have a merry christmas everyone!
Emeril’s Chocolate-y Christmas Cafe Au Lait
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.