If you've been reading me this year, you know that I took 2006 to learn about and work with vanilla. I think like many people, I was used to it in sweets--cakes, ice creams, candies, custards, so in that respect I really didn't know what this pod with its millions of minute seeds could really do.
Granted, not all of the experiments were successful (I won't be doing that vanilla-scented halibut again), but there were also some surprises--chicken kurma and the taste testing. Here are links to my adventures, for those of you who are curious...
- January: I declare
- January: Vanilla Primer Part One and Part Two
- February: The Vanillafication of my Kitchen (home-made vanilla flavourings)
- March: Cuppycakes Galore (taste testing extracts)
- April: Creamy Custards
- May: Vanilla Kurma
- June: Creamy Vanilla-y Goodness (vanilla panna cotta)
- July: Vanilla Ice Cream
- August: Me and My Tarty Ways (blueberry-peach tart)
- September: September Celebrations Part Two (Nigella's Chocolate Hunnycakes)
- October: Reverting to a Teenaged-Girl (Vanilla Cheesecake)
- November: Was It Just a Figment? (Vanilla-scented halibut)
I knew I was going to do this one in the winter...or what is supposed to be winter. It's 31 December, and the mercury is bobbing at just above 0C. That's not right--we all know it, and until we actually mend our ways (myself included) white winters may become a rareity...insert Kyoto comment here.
I first tasted this sort of hot chocolate drink at my favourite chain coffee shop--The Second Cup. This version of their White Hot Chocolate is a little sweeter, but still creamy. The colour is a pale yellow, because of the melted ivory couverature, and is speckled with teensy seeds from vanilla paste. It is very easy and very quick. this is a little more than enough for my favourite mug, but really is meant to be shared with one other...that is, if you really like them.
430ml milk (at least two percent, full-fat is better)
120g white chocolate (in chips or chopped)
1 tsp vanilla paste (or the pod and scraped seeds of one vanilla bean or 1-2 tsp vanilla extract)
Simmer the milk and vanilla paste (or seeds and pod) and remove it from the heat. Stir in the white chocolate until fully incorporated.
If you are using vanilla extract, pour it in *now* and whisk the mixture well until smooth and frothy. Pour into one or two cups, as you see fit...
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