Peppermint Hot Chocolate

1/4 cup dark chocolate, finely grated

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

2/3 cup milk

1/3 cup heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract

2-3 tablespoons granulated sugar

For serving

1 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

pinch salt

Candy canes, whole and/or crushed

First, make the whipped cream. In the bowl of stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, whip the heavy cream, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and salt until it forms mostly firm peaks (see video). Store in a container in the refrigerator while you make the hot chocolate.

Place the grated chocolate and cocoa powder in a large mug. Set aside.

Combine the milk, heavy cream, peppermint extract, and granulated sugar in a small saucepan. Whisking constantly, slowly heat the mixture over medium-low heat just until the mixture starts to steam and a few small bubbles form around the edges. It’s important to not let the mixture boil.

Once the liquid is heated, pour about 3 tablespoons into the mug and stir into the chocolate to make a paste to avoid any lumps. Bit by bit, stirring well, slowly pour in the rest of the liquids until the mug is full but still with room for whipped cream.

Serve with freshly whipped cream topped with crushed candy canes or with a whole candy cane in the mug (or with both, if you’d like).

Serves 1.