This drink is inspired by the movie Chocolat. That movie has three of my favorite things: themes of acceptance, Johnny Depp, and chocolate. And not just any chocolate. Fancy French chocolate made from an ancient family recipe originating from the first chocolate lovers themselves: the Aztecs.
After watching this movie with my dear friend Megan in college, we set out to make our own chocolate. And not just any chocolate. Spicy Aztec chocolate with dashes of cayenne and cinnamon. I have been mildly obsessed with spicy chocolate ever since.
Chocolat is set in the season of Lent, too, so it makes sense to share this mocha recipe now in Lent's final week. The main character moves to a small, highly religious French town with her daughter and opens a chocolate shop in the middle of Lent, when the whole town gives up sweets. This leaves her less than popular. Hopefully you will still like me after I share this recipe if you are giving up sweets or chocolate for Lent this year. :) You know, it would make the perfect Easter morning celebratory drink.
First thing's first, you're going to need a good chocolate syrup. I demand that you make your own following this recipe as it has the best and darkest flavor any chocolate syrup has ever dared to offer. Plus it has no high fructose corn syrup or other weird chemicals. It's so simple to make, just equal parts white sugar, cocoa powder, and water with a dash of vanilla and a pinch of salt.
3 Tablespoons chocolate syrup
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of cayenne pepper to heat preference
strong coffee or espresso
warmed half & half or preferred milk
optional (but not really) whipped cream and cinnamon for garnish
Heat the syrup on low in a pan (or leave some in the pan after making your own chocolate syrup) and add in spices. You could probably just stir in the spices to cold syrup, but I haven't tried it, so I'm not sure if it tastes the same.
Spoon the syrup into mugs, add the coffee and steamed milk, and garnish with whipped cream and cinnamon and pretend you are drinking it with Johnny Depp in a cute French village.