Thick Hot Chocolate with Star Anise to Warm Up the Winter Holidays

Winter Kissed – I wanted to add a new short story to Thorn in Red, the novella I’m publishing on the 21st. I was getting worried… I finished the short story in November, but for some reason it didn’t work. I did a lot of things trying to make it fit smoothly with the existing tale: I changed the point of view (nothing), changed the perspective (nothing), altered the conflict (more nothing). I gave it the finger, and that didn’t help either. So I let it sit for a while…

I spent days thinking about it. Reading and rereading the tales from different angles; nothing was working, my Wicked Luvs, and the whole thing was driving me bonkers. I got so frustrated that I started working on something else. If worse comes to chaos, I thought, I will just tell my Wicked Luvs that story kicked my witchy writer behind. Then the solution came to me in the middle of the night. The short story didn’t fit because it wasn’t a short story—it was a chapter! I had to rewrite a few things, restructure the epilogue (turn it into a chapter), add a bit of information here and there, and at last, “Winter Kissed,” the 17th chapter of Thorn in Red was exactly what it needed to be.

Snow-Crafting with the Little Princess – the Little Princess wanted to build a snowman. There wasn’t enough snow on the ground and what was there wasn’t sticking… so we made snow-angels and a snow-mermaid. Then we got home half-frozen. She screamed sang The Bloodmobile in the shower. I made thick hot chocolate with star anise.

This is not a traditional Dominican holiday recipe. In truth, we ate a lot of it at my childhood home because the ingredients were economical, and the result was filling and tasty. But it was a favorite of my grandma (she loved to dip bread in it), so I started to make it for special occasions. Its sweet warmth makes it perfect for the winter holidays, and for Ms Misantropia’s “How do YOU celebrate?”

Thick Hot Chocolate with Star Anise
Ingredients
3 ¼ cups water
2 large cinnamon sticks
3 star anise
1 cup evaporated milk
1 Abuelita Chocolate circle (follow the link to see, please)
1 teaspoon raw sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Preparation
Add the cinnamon and anise to 3 cups of water and boil for 10 minutes. Add the chocolate and lower the heat. Simmer at low temperature, stirring often, until the chocolate dissolves; add sugar. Whisk the cornstarch in the remaining water. Add the evaporated milk and the cornstarch. Stir constantly to avoid lumps; continue doing so until it’s all creamy and delicious.  

* Preparation time should be 20-25 minutes… unless you have a little imp demanding to lick the spoon every minute or so. In that case, it takes about 35.
* When I was young, I used to eat this with crackers or fresh bread. But I’m not young anymore, so my arteries and I only wish we could still have cracker and fresh bread.
* It yields 3 servings… unless you are as greedy as the Little Princess and I, in which case you get only two servings and lots of happy grinning.

Spices Playing Cards, Visions of Plums and a Skully Smile Giveaway – Did you enter? If not, go for it, Luvs. Let’s celebrate Friday the 13th all the way until December 18th, and get lucky ;-) 

Snow-Mermaid and Snow-Angels ;-)

30 comments:

  1. Love Chocolate Abuelita! This sounds wonderful and as I have some star anise (for the mulled wine and spiced hot cider) I will try this. When I do, I'd dip croissants into it. Warm, buttery croissants, wicking up all that spicy, fragrant chocolaty goodness. Mmmm Mmmmm

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    1. "mulled wine and spiced hot cider" sounds extra-mega-yummy! Yes, that's a lot of deliciousness, isn't it? Let me know if you try it. And, of course, you must describe your croissant eating experience. At the moment, that is about as much as I should enjoy any kind of bread!

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  2. Adorable pictures. But, um, admittedly, the last one looks like "playtime in the snow" went horribly, horribly wrong...

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    1. You are sooo perceptive, my dear Narrator. As I was taking the picture, she kept on yelling, "I am a dead zombie." I didn't ask if she knew any live zombie.

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  3. Aww, I love the snow angels and snow mermaid :)
    What a delicious recipe. I must try it!

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    1. If you do, I hope you enjoy it!

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  4. We went to a Peruvian restaurant yesterday and had some delicious hot chocolate that reminded of your recipe. I'm going to write this down and see if I can't make it at home during holiday break for my little monsters.

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    1. Yum! Did it have nutmeg? One of my Peruvian friends makes the best hot chocolate ever. She adds nutmeg to it. I tried to replicate the recipe in the past, but for some reason I can't get it to taste as yummy. *whimper*

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    2. It may have. I'm going to use yours as a starting point and play with it from there. My kids are already excited about the experiments for winter beaks. :)

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  5. I am not a chocoholic by any measure. My favorite has always been Ovaltine - it's less chocolatey then other cocoas, I think. But, adding the Star Anise and Cinnamon would make this a real treat for me.

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    1. Let me know how it goes! My little brother was an Ovaltine lover. He liked it cold, warm...

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  6. Hmm so let me see... I get an entire new chapter added to my favorite guilty pleasure and a yummy hot chocolate recipe, your just to good to us Magaly :)

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    1. WoooHooo! I can't wait to read your review *cough, cough*

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  7. Congrats on figuring out Thorn in Red- when can we read it?

    I hadn't heard of thick chocolate before, but it sounds yummy.

    How adorable the little Princess is in the snow. We only had snow for two days, now we've had constant rain for almost 2 weeks...

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    1. Thorn in Red will be out on the 21st.

      We had snow for two days, then a bit of rain. It's sunny now, there is still a bit of snow on the ground.

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  8. Your whole post has me smiling! I was not familiar with the bloodmobile, but I hope you don't mind me borrowing it for a January post. I am a hot chocolate adict, so will for sure give this recipe a try. Tis the season for me to hibernate. (altho playing in the snow with a Princess looks like a lot of fun.)
    Special treats will be wonderful. I'll make up a holiday!

    Congratulations on finding the solution to your writing glitch!

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    1. I LOVE They Might Be Giants! I shall read your January post ;-)

      Hot chocolate addicts will have fun around here. Yum.

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  9. Evaporated milk AND cornstarch -- yes, that will be nice and thick!

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  10. Oh your hot chocolate sounds yummy. Will definitely have to give it a try. Such a pretty blanket of snow too.

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    1. I hope you enjoy it very much!

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  11. Congrats on Winter Kissed! Can't wait to read it! That sounds like a good name for a painting ;o) I've never heard of the Bloodmobile! LOL! Your hot chocolate is making my mouth water! My mom loves star anise ;o) Something, we must try!!! Love the snow pictures ;o) Big Hugs ;o)

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    1. Your mom and you should make some chocolate and eat them with fresh biscuits and then tell me about it... so I can drool on my keyboard. ;-D

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  12. I love those snow angels - your daughter is so cute! Yay for thick hot chocolate (or anything chocolate, really)! And I'm happy to hear you figured out your WIP problem. I have two WIPs that aren't working, but it never occurred to me to give them the finger. I'm definitely going to try that out because they deserve it! lol

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    1. The finger rarely fixes anything, but giving it with a meaningful glare feels extremely satisfying. ;-D

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  13. Winter Kiss! and thick hot chocolate! All is balanced to me! xoxoxoDebi

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    1. Isn't it? Chocolate and kissing to warm up the cold. It's almost a duty to have them!

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  14. Oh honey, your writer's intuition is always so alive! (I'd have probably given it the finger on the first try.) I am so impressed and proud of you for your completed works and publications. I cannot wait to purchase Thorn in Red!

    That delicious recipe has my mouth watering and I love the angels and mermaids. OMG! I have never heard "The Bloodmobile". I can just hear the little Princess singing it...loudly. LOL All my love to you all. Mina

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    1. Thorn in Red and I have gone through a rather interesting journey. I'm enjoying the fact that we got to a point where we can actually work hand in hand. In the beginning, we argued a lot.

      Hm, I think I need some thick chocolate and a bit of singing ;-D

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