Monday, December 1, 2008

Spiked White Chocolate Cappuccino

Spiked White Chocolate Cappuccino
It's coming on Christmas
They're cutting down trees
They're putting up reindeer
And singing songs of joy and peace
I wish I had a river
I could skate away on
‑Joni Mitchell "River"
There are some Christmas albums that I can't live without during the season. Sarah McLachlan's album "Wintersong" is my current favorite. Over the years, it's been Roger Whittaker (when I was little and heard it played over and over at Christmas), then it was Jim Brickman's "Joy to the World", Bruce Cockburn's "Mary Had a Baby", and Natalie MacMaster's "Get Me Through December". My friends tease me because I even like pan flutes at Christmas, but only at Christmas!

There's nothing nicer than curling up with a delicious mug of this hot chocolate, turning the lights down, listening to a favorite Christmas album admiring the lights and decorations on the Christmas tree with a fire crackling in the fireplace.

What's your favorite Christmas album this year?

The recipe calls for brandy, but I didn't have any so I added 2 teaspoons of Tequila. Since the recipe calls for such a small amount, you could leave it out altogether. Chef Steven Vardy (originally from Beckta) gave a cooking class at the local wine store a few years ago, and this was one of the recipes we got to sample.

from Chef Steven Vardy

Serves 8

Ingredients for Spiked White Chocolate Cappuccino2 cups 2% milk
2 cups half and half
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped
10 ounces of white chocolate (Amedei is recommended)
2 teaspoons of brandy
½ tablespoon vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract
4 cups freshly brewed dark coffee
cocoa powder or grated cocoa nibs, for garnish

Place milk and half and half into a sauce pot. Add scraped vanilla seeds and pod to the pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Add white chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Whisk in brandy, vanilla, and almond extract. Strain through a fine sieve to remove vanilla bean. Return to a low heat and whisk until frothy using a hand blender. Divide the coffee into mugs and ladle the white chocolate mixture over. Garnish with a sprinkle of cocoa powder or grated cocoa nibs.

Spiked White Chocolate Cappuccino
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    Karen said...

    Mmmm, I knew as soon as I saw the "spiked" in this recipe I was going to like it. This sounds absolutely delicious. I just emailed the link to my daughter - and if she likes it we'll make it while I at her house for Christmas!

    Shelby said...

    I could use a spiked drink like this tonight to cozy up and cuddle with Grumpy. I really need to relax!

    Sounds delicious!

    Dana Treat said...

    The drink looks delicious - especially in those cups. Joni Mitchell actually wrote "River" and it is TOTALLY worth hearing her version. It's heartbraking. I think it is on the Blue album.

    steph- whisk/spoon said...

    a true treat for cold weather--yum!

    Anonymous said...

    this sounds delicious-and that mug is just too cute.

    Debbie said...

    LOL.... I am almost 50 years old and have just bought the "Barenaked Ladies" holiday CD. I like their version of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlmen".
    And the cappuccino looks sooo good.

    Joie de vivre said...

    Oooh yummy. I've been loving Yo yo ma's Christmas album this year.

    Leslie said...

    I will curl up with that cappuccino AND the cashmere throw!!!

    vibi said...

    OH! How I love Roger Whitaker! It reminds me so much of my childhood!
    ...I'm sure I would also love to enjoy a cup of THAT with you! Though, perhaps with a bit more brandy than coffee! LOL LOL LOL

    Anonymous said...

    girl, this looks so decadent and luxurious. i love anything spiked!!!! haha

    Anne said...

    Wow- those look really beautiful and delicious! I love the Wintersong album, too.

    Andrea said...

    I have to admit that after a few holiday seasons working in retail during high school, I've never loved christmas music. But with a mug of this deliciousness, I could change my mind!

    Manggy said...

    Oh, River! It's among my very favorite "Snow Trilogy" of sad songs (with Landslide by Fleetwood Mac and Winter by Tori Amos)-- except I can't play it that well. My playing is missing a crystalline, cascading quality.
    I would be very happy to receive a cup of you cappo, though :) Lovely cups, too!

    Anonymous said...

    yumm looks great!

    Anonymous said...

    I love anything white chocolate. This looks fantastic :) Can't wait till I can try the spiked version.

    Anonymous said...

    Yes please yes please YES PLEASE!!!!

    Anonymous said...

    That sounds heavenly! I've been dreaming about white hot chocolate ever since I started making my own [white chocolate], so what great timing.

    Anonymous said...

    Wow! Definitely a step up from my White Hot Chocolate!

    grace said...

    well, you piqued my interest with "spiked" and won me over with "white chocolate." the cappuccino part is just an added bonus. :)
    meanwhile, i'm familiar with that song, but only because--get this--robert downey, jr sung it in an episode of ally mcbeal. wow, right? :)

    pam said...

    The drink sounds fabulous and the cups are absolutely adorable!

    dharmagirl said...


    you've quoted my all time favorite christmas song. something about that joni mitchell song breaks my heart every year. i was an ally mcbeal fan, and the song figured into one of the later episodes...

    also, i'm a huge sarah mclachlan fan, and her "song for a winter's evening" is heart warming!

    thanks for a delicious and musical post:)

    muddywaters said...

    Thanks for sharing. This drink would make the perfect companion for some Christmas music.

    I'm partial to Ella Fitzgerald's Christmas album. If you like instrumental music, Dave Brubek's album is great.

    Take care,