Michael and I visited Sugarloaf last weekend, which is a ski resort in Carrabassett Valley, Maine, about four hours north of Boston. I don’t ski and it was freezing, so much of my time was spent drinking hot toddies.
Basically an après–ski minus the ski.
Mind you, I would have taken a lesson, but the Boston Marathon is in 42 days and I couldn’t risk tumbling down the mountain with two sticks strapped to my feet. No one ever accused me of being particularly coordinated. Instead I decided to play it safe and stumble down the mountain with this delicious spiked hot chocolate.
Sugarloaf is beautiful, fun, laid-back and the locals couldn’t have been friendlier. We found a food truck right outside the lodge called Urban Sugar serving freshly-baked bite-sized gourmet doughnuts. The S’mores variety were covered with chocolate ganache, graham cracker crumbs and the mini-est of marshmallows. If you enjoy cold-weather outdoor activities or just have a penchant for hot chocolate and doughnuts, check it out!
This little elixir is perfect because there’s something for everyone. Chocolate, beer, whiskey, Baileys – you’ve got your bases covered. This has a really nice depth of flavor from the reduced Guinness and the scent of the stout simmering on the stove is incredible – so nutty and fragrant. If you’d prefer to omit the alcohol, I think this would still make a really nice, rich cup of hot chocolate. You may just want to thin it out with an extra cup of milk and add a tablespoon of vanilla extract.
Stumble Down the Mountain Hot Chocolate
Adapted from Serious Eats
1 12-oz bottle Guinness
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tbsp granulated sugar
Pinch kosher salt
3 cups whole milk
4 oz milk chocolate chips
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 oz Baileys Irish Cream
4 oz Irish whiskey (your choice)
In a medium saucepan, cook Guinness over medium-high heat until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
In medium saucepan, stir cocoa powder with sugar and salt. Stir in milk and chocolate chips. Stir constantly, over medium heat until chocolate is fully-melted and mixture is hot. Gently whisk to completely blend mixture.
Remove from heat, add Baileys, reduced Guinness and whiskey. Whisk until desired frothiness, pour into individual serving cups, top with whipped cream or marshmallows and serve immediately.