Count me in as a fan of egg nog. Not that stuff in a carton at the grocery store masquerading as egg nog, mind you, the real stuff laden with egg yolks and cream. And, of course, plenty of brandy and rum.
However, around my house, egg nog has fallen by the wayside. A few years ago, I found something even better: Coquito. It's a Puerto Rican drink that's similar to egg nog, but with the addition of sweet coconut cream.
I've made more than a few coquito converts. A lot of people I know who hate egg nog end up adoring coquito. And a few people who invite me to their holiday parties playfully tell me they won't speak to me again if I don't bring coquito. At least, I hope it's playful.
This year, while I was looking up my own coquito recipe to make batches for upcoming holiday parties, I happened upon something I couldn't resist trying: Chocolate coquito.
What could be better than taking an already irresistible creamy coconut drink and adding chocolate? Not much, let me tell you. It's thick, rich, and utterly luscious.
Making it is pretty easy. The hardest part is making a chocolate ganache. Ganache sounds all fancy because it's a French word, but all you have to do is pour hot cream over chocolate, then stir it to mix everything together.
A lot of coquito aficionados mix everything together in a blender. Unless you have a monster blender like a Vitamix, using the blender is a pain because you have to mix in batches. I prefer turning to a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. If you have neither a big blender nor a stand mixer, it's easy to mix together everything right in the serving pitcher, stirring with a large spoon.
While you can serve your coquito the same day you make it, it vastly improves the longer you let it sit. As with egg nog, I like to let it chill in the fridge for at least 3 weeks to mellow everything and so the alcohol can work its preservative magic and kill any bacterial ickiness from the rare salmonella-laced raw egg.
Oh, by the way, if you're thinking that chocolate coquito sounds like a great thing to add to your coffee... You'd be very, very right.
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Chocolate Coquito makes about 2 quarts Serve in small cups, it's quite rich. 4 egg yolks 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk 1 can Coco López 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk 1 cup half-and-half 8 ounces dark chocolate 1 cup heavy cream 1-1/2 cups light rum 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon salt
Whip egg yolks in a stand mixer or blender until light and lemon-colored. With mixer running, slowly add condensed milk, Coco Lopéz, and evaporated milk. Put chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat half-and-half in a saucepan until steaming and bubbles form. Pour hot half-and-half over chocolate. Let stand 1 minute, and whisk until chocolate is fully melted. Add about 2 cups of coquito mixture to chocolate mixture, and whisk to combine. Add chocolate mixture to remaining coquito mixture. Add rum, cinnamon, and salt, stirring to combine. Chill in refrigerator at least 2 hours. Keep in the refrigerator several weeks to mellow, if desired. Stir well before serving.
Variation: Extra-Strength Chocolate Coquito Use 2 cups rum and 1-1/4 cups heavy cream.