You know, there are just times when you have to make the supreme sacrifice and learn how to prepare something that you yourself have no desire to consume, or in this case imbibe. And because I am not inherently a martyr, (that was my mother’s specialty), I don’t often “put myself out” enough to play around with a recipe I just know I am not going to like. But some people really love hot cocoa and one of them happens to live with me! (Actually it turns out that most people like hot cocoa. I am definitely in the minority on this one.) So I suppose at this point you think you have figured out the end of this story. That I have had some amazing revelation and I am now transformed into a cocoa lover because truly, has there ever been a better taste combination than chocolate and orange?  Wrong!  I still don’t like hot cocoa even if it does contain chocolate and orange. However, my husband and everyone else I have ever served this to think it is just delicious. So if you enjoy a cup of cocoa on a cold winter day, give this recipe a try. As for myself, I’ll have another cup of coffee, thank you!

  • 1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ c. sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1/3 c. boiling water
  • 1 tsp. orange zest
  • ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling
  • 4 c. whole milk
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 2 T. powdered sugar
  • 1 T. Cointreau or other orange flavored liqueur

Combine cocoa powder, sugar, salt, and boiling water in a medium sized saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil, reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring the entire time. (Will scorch if not stirred.) Stir in orange zest, cinnamon, and milk. Bring to just under a boil, remove from heat, and stir in vanilla. Whip cream to stiff peaks. Add powdered sugar and Cointreau. Ladle cocoa into 4 cups and dollop with whipped cream. Sprinkle with cinnamon.