Tuesday, December 24, 2013

White Hot Cocoa Peppermint Affogato (GF)

White Hot Cocoa Peppermint Affogato (GF)

Merry Christmas Eve! I accidentally left my camera on while we were out of town for a few days & I didn’t discover the dead battery until I was ready to shoot this post.  So, iPhone images it is :)

White Hot Cocoa Peppermint Affogato (GF)

This year’s Christmas will be rather low-key, just my husband and myself. We’re looking forward to cooking Christmas brunch and Christmas dinner together while watching some festive movies and developing some of our own Christmas traditions. I am currently voting for the “stay in your pjs most of the day” tradition. :)

White Hot Cocoa Peppermint Affogato (GF)

My family always has hot cocoa on Christmas Eve or Christmas day--it’s a tradition that stems from my maternal grandma’s childhood and involves a very special antique hot cocoa set.  I’m a little sad to miss out on the family hot cocoa session, so I’m planning to incorporate something similar into our Christmas Eve festivities. We’re going to have our hot cocoa affogato style instead.  

White Hot Cocoa Peppermint Affogato (GF)

Affogato is an Italian-based dessert where a shot of hot espresso (or very strong coffee) is poured over a cold scoop of ice cream.  The heat melts the ice cream & espresso and ice cream become self-saucing. Sometimes liqueurs are also added.  Vanilla ice cream is most classic, but really any kind could be used.

White Hot Cocoa Peppermint Affogato (GF)

For my version, I substituted a white hot chocolate for the espresso & candy cane ice cream for the vanilla ice cream.  Store bought ice cream works perfectly (which is a good thing because our freezer is so full that my ice cream maker bowl would never fit), but the white hot cocoa needs to be homemade. Luckily, it’s super simple.  Good quality white chocoalte is a must--always make sure the chocolate bar ingredients include cocoa butter & real vanilla.  I used a bar of Lindt chocolate I found in the candy bar aisle of the grocery store. I like to garnish with an extra sprinkle of crushed candy cane pieces & a little chopped white chocolate, but those are totally optional garnishes.

White Hot Cocoa Peppermint Affogato (GF)

Serving the affogato with a crunchy festive cookie on the side completes the dessert (feel free to dunk away). Voila, an easy dessert that also fulfills the Christmas cocoa tradition.

White Hot Cocoa Peppermint Affogato (GF)

I wish you all the merriest of holidays. I hope you are able to spend it with loved ones. And if you’re still stressing over an easy holiday dessert, consider the affogato.  It’s easily made for two or for 12.  And it’s gluten free!

White Hot Cocoa Peppermint Affogato (GF)

White Hot Cocoa Peppermint Affogato 

2 c Milk (I used whole milk)
4 oz Good quality white chocolate (I used Lindt)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
{optional} splash Vanilla Bean Paste 

Candy Cane Ice Cream (store bought is fine) 
crushed candy canes, for garnish
chopped white chocolate, for garnish

  1. In a small sauce pan, heat the milk to a simmer. 
  2. Chop the white chocolate into small pieces. Whisk into the simmering milk and continue stirring until all the chocolate is melted. Do not allow to boil. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla(s). Pour the white hot cocoa into a vessel with a spout, such as a liquid measuring cup or a french press. 
  3. In a mug or bowl, add a couple scoops of candy cane ice cream. Pour the prepared white hot cocoa over the ice cream. Garnish with a sprinkle of crushed candy canes and white chocolate. Serve immediately.  
White Chocolate Mocha variation:

  • When simmering the milk for the hot cocoa, add a little instant espresso powder for a mocha kick.   
If you can’t find candy cane ice cream:

  • Substitute vanilla ice cream & make the white hot cocoa peppermint/candy cane flavored instead.  Add a few drops of peppermint extract (a little goes a long way) to the finished white hot cocoa.  Or, melt some candy cane pieces into the simmering milk before adding the white chocolate. 
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