by Baby Huey
Allow me to set a scene for you. It was last Wednesday. I'm all settled in for the work day. I had breakfast for dinner. I'm in my PJs. The dog's asleep next to me on the couch, when all of a sudden, it hits. My sweet tooth. My sweet tooth is odd -- it's not there all the time, but when it rears its ugly head it must be satiated RIGHT FUCKING NOW! NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW!
Now, this presented me with a couple of problems. You see, by the time you read this, I'll be in Ohio visiting my family for the holidays. I'll be away from home for 10 days. That means about 2 weeks ago, I stopped buying groceries and I'm just working my way through the fridge. Because of that, I had nothing that was a) prepared and b) sweet in my house. I didn't want to bake something (remember the NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW part?) and I was in my damn PJs. I wasn't going out. What to do, what to do, what to do? Man, I needed a drink.
Wait, that's it! I ran to the pantry, found what I needed, and threw together a warm, sweet, satisfying cup of hot cocoa from scratch. It's so simple, and made from stuff that you probably have in your pantry (and if you don't, you probably should).
Pantry Hot Cocoa
24 oz evaporated milk
* I gave you a range of amounts of sugar. 1/4 c is going to make it taste very much like bittersweet chocolate -- nice and chocolatey, but not all that sweet. I did it with 1/2 c, and it was VERY sweet. Next time I do it, I'll do 1/3 c.
In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, heat all but 1/4 c of the milk and the sugar till the sugar is dissolved. In a small bowl, put the cocoa powder, cinammon, and pepper. Add the reserved milk and whisk to combine. You don't have to do this exactly, but adding cocoa to liquid makes it nearly impossible to dissolve because it just floats there. Making the paste first will make your life a lot easier. Add this paste to the pan and bring up till it's as warm as you want it, between 130 - 135 degrees, if you're a thermometer geek. At the last second, add the vanilla and stir to combine.
If you want to booze it up, this would be delicious with any number of liquors or liqueurs. I would personally add bourbon, Kahlua, or Irish creme. Grand Marnier would also be very good.
Obviously, you'd want to top this with whipped cream or marshmallows. If you don't have any, like I didn't, and you have a hand-held mixer or stick blender, use your whisk attachment, and give it a good whirl. The fact that the evaporated milk is more concentrated will help it create a nice frothy foam, although I'd do that before I added any booze, because I'm not sure how the foam would react with the alcohol.
Continuing on Baby Huey's top 10 of 2006, we've cracked the top 5, and we're getting into the diggity dank records of the year (that's what the kids say to mean "good," right?). Let's recap what we've got so far:
10. Witchery - Don't Fear the Reaper
4. Strapping Young Lad - The New Black
Here's my review from when this came out in July. I've highlighed a bit of an error in it. See if you can find it.
It's rare that I call an album the best metal album of the year in July, but guess what? This is the best metal album of the year. I'd be astounded if another album came along that is better. SYL, hailing from outside Vancouver, is back with what is rumoured (I'm using superfluuuuous U's in my review since they're Canadian) to be their last release. The album is, by and large, classic Strapping Young Lad. Devin Townsend continues to baffle me with the unholy sounds he can create with his voice. Ex-Death and current legend Gene Hoglan continues behind the drumkit in a manner that I can only describe as frenzied. The keyboards (played by an unnamed stranger, no one in the band is listed as a keys player) continue to add a veritable wall of melody to every song. They lyrics are funny and smart, and the guitar work manages to be melodic and mind-shattering at the same time. If you're in safe harbor, check out "You Suck" and "Far Beyond Metal," which is the lone old track on this album. They wrote the song in 1997, and it appeared on their two live recordings, "No Sleep til Bedtime" and "For those Aboot to Rock." The studio, though, presented them with a special opportunity: The guest vocalist spot, usually filled by guitarist Jed Simon, has been covered in this case by GWAR's Oderus Urungus. I highly suggest giving "The New Black" a spin.
3. God Dethroned - The Toxic Touch
It's inevitable - I always have a record from late in the year towards the top of my list. I know it's unfair, but it happens. It's fresh in my mind, what can I say? Anyway, if you want to read more about it, go read my post here for a review.
Stay tuned next week for the last recipe of 2006 and my top 2 albums.
We all know Josh put booze in his drink when he made this