Here we only have one rule; never, ever let it cool!……………
In case you missed the last few posts this week, I’ve been doing recipes inspired by our favorite Christmas movies. Today, of course, is inspired by Polar Express! Come on, who doesn’t love the hot chocolate scene, it’s one of the best parts!
I know that since the movie came out, there have probably been a bazillion recipes inspired by it, but I think this one is pretty unique. I put a lot of thought into how I wanted to make this, and obviously there is no mention of eggnog being in the famous, steaming pots of thick hot chocolate on the movie, but who’s to say there wasn’t some eggnog involved.
Here’s my logic (which is not always that logical but I think this time it makes sense), those super sophisticated chefs on the Polar Express would have had some big tricks up their sleeve for making a hot chocolate unlike any other. After all, they work for the big guy so it had to taste amazing, like liquified Christmas, and what’s a more Christmasy ingredient than eggnog?
Okay, and I also added just a tiny touch of jo because, first of all, I can’t help myself. And second of all, I thought Hanks’ character of the train ghost would be proud. Don’t worry if the kids hate coffee, it’s not enough to even detect, but it adds a depth that makes this cocoa extra yummy! However, if you want to leave it out you can try using two different brands of cocoa and adding an extra few tablespoons instead.
The whole recipe is fast and easy so it makes the perfect last-minute holiday treat. I did make my own eggnog because the store-bought kind sort of freaks me out, well, and they don’t sell eggnog in Chile anyway. I included the recipe for that too, so if you want to whip up the eggnog first, you can go right from that into the hot chocolate. Otherwise you can warm up some store-bought eggnog if that’s what you prefer. The eggnog is super easy though, and so good!
So now all you need to do is go get your whip cream or marshmallows (or BOTH!) ready, put on your fuzzy jammies, whip up some of this goodness, and pop in Polar Express! Oh, and possibly bake some quick cookies to go with. You know that’s what you really want to do tonight!
- 1 quart eggnog (or recipe follows)
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 1/2 tablespoons black coffee
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Whipped cream or marshallows for topping
- 8 egg yolks
- 1 1/3 cup cream
- 2 2/3 cup milk
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon 1/4 nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
- pinch of salt
- Pour 1 quart of eggnog into a medium saucepan and place over low heat until simmering hot but do not boil. While eggnog is warming up, mix together cocoa, sugar, and salt in a small bowl.
- When eggnog is warm, scoop a few large spoonfuls of mixture into cocoa/brown sugar bowl while whisking and stir until smooth. Scrape mixture into eggnog and add the coffee and vanilla and simmer until it begins to thicken. Pour into mugs and top with marshmallows or whipped cream if desired.
- Beat egg yolks with sugar in a large mixing bowl until sugar is mostly dissolved. Combine milk, cream, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat (Basically, you just want it very warm to temper your yolks).
- Ladle a few spoons at a time of the warm milk mixture into egg yolks while whisking to allow yolks to warm up without cooking. Continue until it is all combined then return pan to heat and bring mixture to 160 degrees F (70 C).
- Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 - 10 minutes then stir in vanilla and pour into sealable container. Store any extra in fridge for up to 1 week..