Many chefs combine sweet and spicy ingredients, such as chocolate and cayenne pepper, to create inventive palate pleasers. Those who specialize in international cuisine have done so for years, and Americans are first discovering this mouth-watering culinary trend.

Our end-of-the-week recipe will warm up our East Coast friends, who are experiencing another winter storm. All of the ingredients can be found at your local natural and organic food store.

Mexican Hot Chocolate Shots with Spicy Foam

Makes 8 servings

  • 2 cans (12 fluid ounces each) evaporated milk, divided
  • 1 cup water
  • 1½ cups (9 ounces) semisweet or milk chocolate chips
  • 1¼ teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 1/2 plus 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, divided (optional)
  1. Pour 1/2 cup evaporated milk into medium mixer bowl; place beaters into mixture. Freeze about 30 minutes or until ice crystals form around edge of bowl.
  2. Heat remaining evaporated milk, water, chocolate chips, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 pinch cayenne pepper in medium saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently, until melted. Do not boil. Set aside.
  3. Remove chilled evaporated milk from freezer. Beat on high speed 1 minute or until very frothy. Add 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 pinch cayenne pepper. Continue beating 3 to 4 minutes or until mixture forms soft peaks.
  4. Pour hot chocolate into eight 4-ounce demitasse cups, and immediately dollop with foam topping.

Book Pick of the Day: Hot Chocolate: 50 Heavenly Cups of Comfort

Recipe and photo courtesy of Nestlé Carnation Evaporated Milk