Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hot Chocolate Affogato with Peppermint Ice Cream

Christmas is without a doubt my favorite time of year.  Thanksgiving is a close second, but no amount of stuffing or cranberry sauce can compare to the amount of enjoyment I get out of spending hours baking cookies, wrapping presents, putting up lights on my Christmas tree, and stressing over finding the perfect gift for every person on my list (I actually enjoy this kind of stress, somehow).  There's another kind of stress around this time of year though, one that I enjoy much, much less.  Sigh.  Yup, it's finals time.  

I got pretty lucky with finals this year though.  I only have one exam, and two final projects to work on.  My exam isn't until next Tuesday, and one of my projects is due later on tonight, so it's not too bad.  I definitely need to put in a lot of time to study for the exam, and my other project (not the one that's due tonight), is actually something that I'm really looking forward to working on.  I'm in a small seminar called, "Curating Architecture," and as part of the class, we get to work together to write articles organized around a central theme (this year, the theme is "public"), and then create a publication and an exhibition that stem off of our articles.  I'm one of the three people in charge of creating the publication layout and developing its graphic identity, and I'm secretly very excited to work on it.  Creating the mock layouts was really surprisingly fun, and I'm excited to see how the publication will look once it's finished!  But ANYWAY...

Regardless of how many things I need to do during these last 6 days or so at school, I will find the time to enjoy lots of holiday treats and traditions.  I went to Rockefeller Center last weekend (one of my favorite things to do), and am planning on baking up some holiday cookies to share with my friends and co-workers.  Holiday drinks are of course to be included in the next couple of days.  I've already had lots of hot apple cider, tried eggnog for the first time ever (and probably last time, it was just wayyy more sweet than I could handle), and had a few mugs of hot chocolate.  There's one more seasonal beverage that I'm sure I will make again to enjoy very soon chocolate affogato with peppermint ice cream.  


An affogato, in case you're curious, is a traditional Italian treat, that's made by pouring a hot espresso based drink over a scoop of ice cream.  Affogare means "to drown" in Italian (I still remember a thing or two from the Italian classes I took up until a year ago, woo!), and the name fits perfectly this drink, as the ice cream gets "drowned in coffee."  This hot chocolate and peppermint ice cream version of an affogato though, is the perfect holiday treat for me though.  I'm not a huge fan of hot beverages (aside from hot cider, of course), and am only starting to like drinking coffee, so while an espresso-based drink might be more than I can handle right now, cool and refreshing peppermint ice cream with hot chocolate is absolutely, positively perfect.  The hot chocolate is rich and frothy, and slowly melts the peppermint ice cream, so that as you enjoy the affogato, you get hot and cold flavors mixing simultaneously.  It's quite the experience!

This affogato with peppermint ice cream may be all kinds of unconventional, but that will become completely irrelevant once you try it for the first time.  Believe me, this is one drink that you certainly won't want to miss out on.  Enjoy!

Hot Chocolate Affogato with Peppermint Ice Cream
recipe from Bon Appetit, December 2012


1 1/2 cups of  whole milk
1/4 cup chilled heavy cream
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
pinch of kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2.5 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 pint peppermint ice cream

whipped cream and candy canes, for serving (optional)


Combine the milk, 1/4 cup of heavy cream, sugar, salt, and 2 tablespoons water in a large heavy saucepan, and set over medium heat.  Add the vanilla extract, and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring with a wooden spoon to help dissolve the sugar.  Add the chopped chocolate and cocoa powder, and whisk the mixture until the chocolate melts, and the mixture just comes to a boil.  Remove from the heat.  Transfer the hot chocolate mixture to a blender, and blend until foamy, about two minutes (an immersion blender will work just fine, too!)

Scoop the ice cream into four mugs.  Pour the hot chocolate mixture into the mugs, over the ice cream.  Top each mug with whipped cream and candy cane, and serve immediately. 

Makes 4 servings


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