Mexican Hot Chocolate
2/3 cup milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
4 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/8 of a vanilla bean
2/3 of a cinnamon stick
1/3 tsp. almond extract
Combine milk, cream, cinnamon sticks and vanilla in a 1 quart stainless steel pot and bring mixture to a boil. Have prepared chocolate in a mixing bowl. Allow the heated liquid to steep (rest off the heat) for 5 minutes, then pour over the top of the chopped chocolate. Stir the chocolate mixture until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth.
Pour the warm mixture through a strainer and it is ready to serve. Serve immediately or refrigerate. To reheat, place chocolate mixture in a 2 quart stainless steel pot on low heat -- do not let sit, or it will burn. Stir mixture until warm. Immediately serve and place in 4 oz. portions with a dollop of slightly sweetened, softly whipped cream and a light dusting of cinnamon.