Once the suitcases are unpacked, food is the greatest way to keep the memories of a warm vacation alive. While in Cancun, I collected bits of cooking inspiration at every meal and filed them away for our return to the snowy Chicago winter. Mexican all you can eat (and drink!) resorts are not exactly known for their food, yet I was amazed by the amount of from scratch cooking taking place at the Hard Rock Riviera Maya.
The kids were the first to taste the homemade difference at breakfast, in their cups of Mexican hot chocolate. They took one sip, expecting the usual watery mix, and broke out in big smiles. “Mom! You have to try this hot chocolate. It’s different! It’s so good!” The difference was cinnamon sticks, blended in big vats of hot milk and dark chocolate. The cinnamon was subtle, not like drinking a chai, just enough to make a big cup of hot chocolate the way we all started out day.
We brought our Mexican hot chocolate breakfast tradition home, along with our memories of Cancun, but I couldn’t abandon my Nespresso coffee. Instead I started making myself a Mexican Mocha in the mornings, and the infusion of the rich Nespresso crema just added another dimension of flavor.
So if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed and down this morning with a new dumping of the white stuff, consider threading the warmth of cinnamon in your coffee or mocha this morning. It’s a heat that will warm you to the core.
- 1 cup of 2% Milk
- ¼ cup of chopped semi-sweet chocolate
- 1 Nespresso capsule of your choice (consider Rosabaya, Indriya or Arpeggio)
- 1 Cinnamon Stick
- 1 Tablespoon of brown sugar
- Chop the semi sweet chocolate coarsely with a paring knife (or just use chocolate chips).
- Place the milk and cinnamon stick in the Nespresso aeroccino on the latte setting (or in a small saucepan if you don't have an aeroccino). Press the button to heat and froth the milk, infusing it with the cinnamon stick. If you're using a pan, on low medium heat (4), simmer the milk for 5 minutes, making sure it doesn't boil.
- Put the chocolate and sugar in the bottom of a coffee mug.
- Brew the espressso on top of the chocolate.
- Top with the milk and stir gently, but immediately, melting the chocolate.
- Enjoy immediately, being sure not to multitask, focusing only on the goodness in your cup!