When you work around the most beautiful sweets all of the time, it gets difficult to pick a favourite. Right now, in the Pandora Bell office, I have a tin of Espelette Chilli Pepper Caramels with Fleur de Sel open on my desk. I have been enjoying one or two after my lunch each day (I know, that is very restrained).
The subtle heat of the butter caramel and the tang of the chilli is a blend that I just love, there is a comfort to it that banishes the January cold.
I have been experimenting also with Chilli Hot Chocolate. Chilli is the perfect addition to a hot chocolate. With a blazing fire, a good book…. and a dash of Tequilla, those cold winter evenings are there to be cherished.
Chilli Hot Chocolate with Tequilla
In a medium saucepan, heat the milk, 2 cinnamon sticks, the chillies and the bittersweet chocolate. Heat slowly stirring constantly, until the chocolate is melted and mixture is hot. Gently whisk to completely homogenise mixture and give texture to the milk.
Simmer over low heat, whisking occasionally, until fragrant, about 10 minutes.
Carefully drain and discard chile and cinnamon sticks
Return to pot and add the tequila. Heat through again.
Divide into four glasses.
Garnish with chile powder, cocoa nib (or chocolate shavings), and a cinnamon stick.