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TV Dinners: Chocolat - Mayan Hot Chocolate

I'll be honest with you, I'm actually not really into romantic movies. So when I set out to find the perfect "TV Dinner" for Valentine's Day, I hit a wall immediately. Then suddenly, in a moment of clarity, I remembered the film Chocolat. After all, what could possibly say romance better than a film starring Johnny Depp, Juliette Binoche, and a whole lot of chocolate?! My only problem is that thanks to all the chocolate, I had a hard time coming up with one scene that summed it all up.

However, I did recall that the shop was called Chocolaterie Maya and that the hot cocoa (you know, that one that melts even Judi Dench's old heart) contained a bit of a kick. To learn the secret recipe that is as close to the movie as possible,


Mayan Hot Chocolate

Mayan Hot Chocolate

Mayan Hot Chocolate


  1. 1 chile pepper, cut in half, seeds removed
  2. 5 cups light cream, or whole milk or nonfat milk
  3. 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  4. 1 to 2 cinnamon sticks
  5. 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  6. 2 tbsp granulated sugar or honey or to taste
  7. 1 tbsp almonds or hazelnuts, ground extra fine


  1. Add chile pepper to 2 cups boiling water. Cook until liquid is reduced to 1 cup. Remove chile pepper; strain for stray seeds, and set aside.
  2. In a medium-size saucepan, combine cream or milk, vanilla bean and cinnamon stick. Heat over medium flame until bubbles appear around the edge. Reduce heat to low; add chocolate and sugar or honey; whisk occasionally until chocolate is melted and sugar dissolves.
  3. Turn off heat; remove vanilla bean and cinnamon stick, stir in ground almonds or hazelnuts. Add chile pepper infusion, a little at a time, making sure the flavor isn't too strong. If chocolate is too thick, thin with a little more milk.

Serves 6.

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