Spiced Chocolate

Adapted significantly from David Lebovitz Wittamer's Belgian Hot Chocolate
Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4 people


8 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate (we like bittersweet but semisweet would work well too)
1 pint fat free half-and-half
tiny pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 dried red chile pepper, sliced open and seeds removed
1 1/2 teaspoons of brown sugar


1.  Warm one cup of half-and-half over medium-low heat with chili pepper, chopped chocolate, and pinch of salt, stirring until chocolate is smooth and melted.

2.  Whisk in remaining half-and-half a little at a time until chocolate reaches desired consistency.  I like my hot chocolate nice and thick, so I only used half a cup.  Add brown sugar and cinnamon.

3.  Remove chili pepper from hot chocolate.  (If you like your hot chocolate a little spicier, you could add a pinch of chili powder at this point.)

4.  Use a hand-held blender or a whisk to mix the hot chocolate until very smooth.  Serve warm in small cups.  This is rich and delicious stuff!