White Hot Chocolate

adapted from Martha Stewart
2 ounces milk chocolate, for garnish
12 ounces good-quality white chocolate, coarsely chopped,
6 cups whole milk (or 2%)
2 cups heavy cream (or whole milk)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, cut open, optional
Peppermint sticks, for garnish
Whipped cream, for garnish
white chocolate shaving, for garnish

Using a vegetable peeler, shave milk chocolate into curls; set aside.
Place white chocolate in a medium heat-proof bowl; set aside. Place milk and cream in a medium saucepan set over medium heat until bubbles begin to form around edges of pan, about 4 minutes. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into milk mixture and stir. Immediately pour mixture over white chocolate. When chocolate begins to melt, stir to combine. Whisk in vanilla. Continue whisking until a light foam forms.
Serve immediately garnished with peppermint sticks, whipped cream, and chocolate curls. Makes 6 cups

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