peppermint mocha affogato

Affogato is the ingenius dessert that melds creamy gelato with warm espresso.  The contrast between the hot and cold and the bitter espresso and the sweet cream makes affogato otherworldly. In my opinion, the best part of this dessert is the little, creamy puddle of coffee milk that forms in the bottom of the bowl.  It reminds me of the coffee cabinets that my dad always gets in Rhode Island.

I put my hot chocolate in an empty kikkoman bottle #resourceful

I have to admit the first time I heard of affogato was at Starbucks, when they offered to make my mocha coconut frappucino “affogato style” (with a shot of espresso poured over top).  However, the first time I had real affogato was this past summer at the Sunflower Cafe in Sonoma, CA.  It was perfection. 

“affogato” means drowned… this is why

The basic recipe is as simple as it gets: pour some espresso on ice cream — however, the possibilities for variations are endless.  Different drinks, different ice creams, different ratios, different toppings… you get the idea.

I was skimming Bon Appetit and came across a recipe for Hot Chocolate Peppermint Affogato… um yes please!  I made a batch of homemade peppermint ice cream, a batch of my favorite hot chocolate, whipped up some fresh cream, and finished my concoction with a sprinkling of espresso powder and a festive candy cane.  I served this along with some homemade croissants for a very festive Christmas breakfast.

With love,
Erica

Ingredients


  • Peppermint ice cream, either store-bought or homemade (recipe here)
  • 1 recipe hot chocolate (recipes here: dairy free / regular)
  • Fresh whipped cream
  • Espresso powder (for garnish)
  • Candy canes (for serving)

Make or buy peppermint ice cream.
Prepare hot chocolate according to recipe.
Whip cream until firm peaks form.
Scoop ice cream into teacups;
pour hot cocoa into cups, dividing evenly. Top each with a small dollop
of whipped cream. Dust with espresso powder and garnish with a candy cane, if desired.

how to: peppermint mocha ice cream

Ever since I discovered Kevin and Amanda’s method for making homemade ice cream without a machine, I’ve been hooked.  I’ve made Twix Fudge Swirl, Apple Pie, Coffee, and some knock-your-socks-off Peach Cobbler Ice Cream.  Since I just made my croissant “how-to” (and am currently obsessed with making gifs), I decided I’d do a photo tutorial on how to make homemade ice cream, because everyone should know how incredibly easy and delicious homemade ice cream is!
This time, I made peppermint mocha ice cream.

Whip the heavy cream to stiff peaks…

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Pour condensed milk into a separate bowl,

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Add in some melted butter,

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Some crushed candy canes,

And some chopped dark chocolate too.

 Finish with 1 tablespoon instant coffee, 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract, and 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Fold it all together…

Pop it in the freezer for a few hours…

Take it out and enjoy the creamiest, most delicious ice cream ever.  Doesn’t that look good? The possibilities are endless!


With love,
Erica

peppermint hot chocolate

Thank goodness the world didn’t end yesterday — I was worried I wouldn’t get to share this peppermint hot chocolate with you.  But we are all here, safe and sound, so lets celebrate with some steamy hot cocoa, shall we?

Winter is always hard for me — I get chilly really easily, and long for the sun of Southern California.  I have come up with various coping mechanisms over the years to get myself through the nippy winters here. Starting in late October, I spend my mornings in front of a sunlamp at my make-up table.  Last year, the chill in the air got so bad, that I ended up wearing 2 pairs of leggings under my jeans.  Not only did I look a little bulky, but it was a bit awkward to explain to my friends in the locker room…

One of the (less embarrassing) things that gets me through the winter is warming my hands with a big, cozy mug full of something steamy — especially when that something is this peppermint hot chocolate.  This is nothing like the stuff that comes in the packet.  This is an entirely different breed — like drinking smooth, melted chocolate, with the invigorating and refreshing kick of peppermint.

I absolutely love making hot chocolate the old fashioned way.  Not only does it taste a million times better, but slowly stirring a big pot of chocolate over the stove is strangely therapeutic.  To make this peppermint hot cocoa, I slowly melted luxuriously bitter, dark chocolate into steaming milk and enhanced it with a bit of peppermint extract.  This cup of hot chocolate is rich and deeply flavorful, but also strangely light and refreshing from the peppermint. I.e. it’s light enough to top with heaping clouds of freshly whipped (peppermint!) cream, chocolate dipped marshmallows, and even some crushed peppermint bark!

I am planning on brewing up a big pot of this for my family with brunch on Christmas morning. If you are having guests over, you could even set up a “hot chocolate bar” where guests could top their steamy mugs with the topping of their choice — the possibilities are endless!

With love,
Erica

Ingredients:
2 cups milk (use whole milk for a richer taste, but any milk will work)
5 ounces (130 g) bittersweet chocolate, (best-quality), finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

1. Heat the milk in a medium-sized saucepan.
2. Once the milk is warm, whisk in the chocolate, stirring until
melted and steaming hot. For a thick hot chocolate, cook at a very low
boil for about 3 minutes, whisking constantly. Be careful and keep an
eye on the mixture, as it may boil up a bit during the first moments.  Add the peppermint extract.

Serve warm with the following toppings.

Peppermint Whipped Cream 
 *double or triple as necessary

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place a metal mixing bowl and metal whisk into the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes.

Place the sugar into the mixing bowl and add the whipping cream.
Whisk just until the cream reaches stiff peaks. Add the extracts and whip for a few more seconds. Store any unused portion
in an airtight container for up to 10 hours. When ready to use, rewhisk
for 10 to 15 seconds.

Peppermint Bark:

I use Paula Deen’s recipe, it is simple and lovely.

Chocolate Dipped Marshmallows

Ingredients:
Dark Chocolate, finely chopped
Marshmallows
Candy Canes, crushed
wooden skewers
 
Melt the dark chocolate.
Have crushed candy canes set
aside in a bowl.
Skewer and dip the marshmallows into the chocolate covering the marshmallow as much as you like then before the chocolate hardens, sprinkle crushed candy canes onto
the pops. Pop into the freezer for a few minutes until the chocolate hardens.