Spicy Hot Cherry Chocolate Martini for your Valentine

Happy Valentine’s Day! Hope you are all having a super spicy hot day today and if not don’t sweat it, you will be after this spicy martini. It’s sweet, spicy and chocolatey with a touch of cherry. Perfect if you’re making it a girls night in or if you’re with your loved one.

spicy_cherry_chocolate_martini

Spicy Hot Cherry Chocolate Martini
1 serving

2 oz jalapeno infused Vodka
1 1/2 oz Godiva Chocolate Liquor
1 oz light cream
1/2 oz triple sec
1 tsp maraschino cherry juice
1 maraschino cherry

Add ice to a martini mixer, then add the rest of the ingredients except for the cherry and shake it hard. Pour into a chilled martini glass.

Spicy Chipotle Chocolate S’mores Ice Cream

Noticed I haven’t been cooking much? Well if you have its not because of a shortage of recipes, it’s just Summer. During this time of year I like to spend as much time outdoors as possible and if its hot out I definitely don’t want to be in the kitchen. If you’ve been reading my last few posts you’ll know how much I’ve complained about all the heat and humidity in the past month or so and haven’t wanted to turn on stove or oven! Well this past week has actually been very nice around here. Temps have been in the 80s with low humidity and well it’s just perfect for cooking so you may start seeing some solid foods on here soon! 🙂 Until then here’s a cool, creamy, spicy chocolate ice cream treat to hold you over.

When you’re making chocolate ice cream, the most important thing is to use a good quality chocolate. The smoother and creamier your chocolate, the smoother your ice cream. I used a wonderful handcrafted chocolate bar that a friend picked up for me while traveling to North Carolina. Escazu Artisan Chocolates makes small batch chocolates from the actual cocoa beans which they get from various countries. Knowing this just makes you appreciate the chocolate more since you know someone took special care in making it. I had the chipotle chili and vanilla chocolate bar and used about half to make the ice cream. The recipe also called for cocoa powder so I used a good quality cocoa powder and spiked that one up with a little cayenne pepper as well.

Chop the chocolate into fine pieces so it’ll dissolve easier when you’re melting it down.

Once your ice cream is made you can enjoy it however you like but I chose to make things a bit more interesting.

I crumbled graham crackers, chopped up chocolate and added mini marshmallows to mine for a crunchy, chewy and spicy chocolatey treat. S’mores are usually messy and the crackers always break when you bite down into it so you’re left with melted chocolate all over the place and bits of crackers everywhere. Well, I wanted the flavors but without the mess and all without a campfire…or stove top which is what I did sometimes!  A fun idea for events or parties is to set up an ice cream bar and let everyone get creative with toppings.

The ice cream came out silky smooth and the spice built up nicely. This will definitely be a summer tradition going forward in my household!

Spicy Chocolate Ice Cream

1/2 c sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/8 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp nutmeg, optional
3 tbsp chipotle chile chocolate, chopped
1 c milk
1 c heavy cream
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla

S’mores Mix-Ins

1 c mini marshmallows
chocolate, chopped
graham crackers, crumbled

1. Mix half the sugar, cocoa powder, chili, nutmeg in a sauce pan. Over medium heat pour in the milk and stir well. When the milk mixture heats up add the chocolate, stirring constantly so it all melts. Let mixture come to boil and remove from heat. Do not let it boil over.

2. In a bowl beat the remaining sugar with the eggs until its light. Stir in the hot mixture very slowly and continue stirring while you’re doing this until all is well combined.

3. Stir in heavy cream slowly and add the vanilla. Refrigerate the chocolate mixture for at least 4 hours or overnight.

4. Make the ice cream per your ice cream maker’s instructions.

5. Once you have your ice cream, mix in the marshmallows, crackers and chopped chocolate.

The Holiday Post That Wasn’t…

Hi all, so sorry I’ve been gone for so long! This heat wave has been unbearable and thank goodness the heat is finally starting to break! I’ve been on a popsicle diet since the 4th…kiddin’…but seriously, it’s been so hot that the last thing I wanted to do was turn on stove or oven. I did however have a fourth of July cookout and was so ready to write about all the food and festivities but planning a BBQ for 15-20 people in 98 degree weather with chance of rain is not as pretty as all those food magazines make it seem. Now I’ve planned events before for large groups but the heat, compounded with a rainy forecast and my puppy chewing up my laptop’s power cord kind of threw things into a tailspin and by that point I was just done, spent. So the puffy pom poms I was going to use to decorate outside, the cute red, white and blue cupcake flags, the banner and streamers, the sparklers, all those party props just went out the door. I was so disappointed but then thought who can actually do all of that without a crew of people? Next time I’ll be a little more prepared and appoint a few but not going to beat myself up about it now. So here is a little something I made that maybe you can make for Labor Day or when ever your heart desires.

I saw these on Pinterest a while ago and just thought they were so adorable. Since I always like to spice things up I made my own version with white chocolate and cayenne pepper. You can also make these with milk chocolate or dark chocolate and skip the sugar.

Strawberries dipped in Spicy White Chocolate

1 pint strawberries
1/2 lb white chocolate
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
blue sugar

Melt the chocolate in a double broiler and stir briskly. Add the cayenne pepper and stir. Dip a strawberry then dip again in a bowl of blue sugar. Repeat until all strawberries and dipped. Keep in the refrigerator if you’re not going to serve right away.

Warm the Soul with Spicy Hot Cocoa and Strawberry Marshmallows

Snow in the forecast, chilly winds, wearing my goose-down parka and my hand knit wool scarf and the only thing I can think of is getting inside, peeling off the layers and sinking into the sofa with my spicy hot cocoa and my furry little, long-haired Chihuahua, Diego.

I’d like to say I sit and curl up with a book or a good magazine but truth is, every time I grab something to read, little Diego perks up and wants to play. I’ll try to calm him down by scratching behind his ear which works for about a minute! He loves the attention and soon enough he’ll have his little paw, face or bottom on my book. Never fails! So the local news will have to do for now and that’s fine by me. Spicy hot cocoa, a pooch that doubles as a heated water bottle and catching up on the world outside, it’s just good for the soul.

*gotta get a better pic of him! took above with my phone

Spicy Hot Cocoa with Strawberry Marshmallows

8 oz of milk
8 oz of evaporated milk
2-3 oz of dark chocolate, about 2 sq inch depending on how dark you like your cocoa
1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Melt your favorite dark chocolate over low to medium heat, stirring constantly making sure chocolate does not burn. Add milk, evaporated milk and all the spices until well blended. Turn heat up and continue to stir until milk boils.

I topped my spicy hot cocoa with handmade strawberry marshmallows I purchased from one of my favorite desserts shop in the city, Three Tarts. They have wonderful desserts and a very cute gift boutique.

Gifts for your Valentine’s Day Hottie

Valentine’s Day is less than a month away so I scoured the web looking for adorable, peppery gifts that would appeal to almost anyone. Forget the flowers and typical boxed chocolates, spice things up with unique gifts your honey will truly enjoy. I decided on a few items that weren’t overly kitschy. It’s no secret I love spicy foods and the beautiful colors and shapes of hot peppers but you won’t see me wearing chile paraphernalia. If you walked into my home you’d never know about my spice addiction unless of course you poked around my kitchen. I usually go for the understated so when I found these little gems I just had to share…

1. These cards are so cute from Etsy shop PrinterettePress. What can I say, you’re a hottie!

2. Sterling silver capsaicin chili pepper molecule necklace from Etsy shop MolecularMuse. I love this! …or is that just the nerd in me? Either way, its cool and cute for your science buff…and it’s handmade.

3. Handmade silver and resin chile cufflinks from Etsy shop BirdcageCreative. If your man loves chiles he may dig these stylish cufflinks.

4. Three Chili Hot Chocolate sticks from The Ticket Kitchen. How clever and cool are these! Dip the spicy chocolate sticks into your hot milk and stir for a spicy, chocolaty treat blending chipotle, ancho and cayenne peppers. Pair this with cute mugs and homemade marshmallows for the perfect gift.

5. Forget all the restaurant hoopla and make a romantic dinner at home or cook for your friends. Who says us single folks can’t enjoy Valentine’s Day? Make your favorite dishes together, have a little wine while you’re cooking and make this sinfully delicious easy to make spicy chocolate cupcake from AllRecipes.com – photo credit: Cookinbug.

6. While your at it with # 5, make it a dinner and a movie night! Queue up one of my all time favorites movies, Chocolat with Johnny Depp and Juliette Binoche on Netflix or get the DVD. This movie is full of romance, comedy and chocolate! I must have seen this movie over a dozen times and it never gets old. It think its time for me to get my digital copy though since I don’t know how much longer my VHS is going to last! Hey, I figured if my VCR still works, why get rid of it?

Let me know if you find any other awesome spicy gift ideas!

Products I’m Loving Right Now: Indian-Inspired Chocolate Treats

Saffron Nut Chikki and Mango Paprika Slates from  Xocolatti

These chocolatey sweets from Xocolatti are exceptional and the flavor combinations are simply addictive! For a bit of spice, try the saffron nut chikki. It’s a crunchy mixture of nuts, chocolate, saffron, cardamom and a sugary brittle that’s just exquisite. The mango paprika also has a nice spice. It’s sweet, chewy (from the dried mango bits) and has a subtle spice from the paprika that’s just right. If you love chocolate and have been looking for unique spice flavor combos you’ll definitely want to check out these Indian-inspired chocolates at Xocolatti.

Xocolatti has a wide range of exotic truffles, clusters, slates and crumbles that are so artistic and pretty you won’t want to eat them! You’ll definitely want to take your time with these and savor every bite. I’m not a big fan of truffles in general since I like more texture and crunch in my chocolates but I had to try the rose cardamom truffle sprinkled with tiny rose petals and it was divine, a perfect gift for Valentine’s Day. Their storefront in SOHO NYC is absolutely stunning as well and I can’t wait to go back to try some more spiced chocolate sweets.

Have you tried any spicy chocolates you just can’t seem to get enough of? Chime in!