Horchata with Cinnamon, Chocolate and Pepitas

Horchata with Pumpkin Seeds, Cinnamon & Chocolate

Horcharta is a popular drink in Latin American. This delightful adaptation is spiked with cinnamon, pumpkin seeds and dark chocolate making it a cool and creamy, rich and nutty drink

Serves: 6 – 8

Ingredients:

1 cup long-grain white rice
1⁄2 cup blanched almonds
1⁄2 cup pepitas
1 vanilla bean
1 1/2 tsp groundcinnamon
4 tbsp dark brown sugar
4 tbsp dark chocolate
5 1⁄2 cups water
Additional ground cinnamon and sugar, to taste

Preparation:

1. Grind the almonds, pepitas and rice, in a coffee grinder. Add the seeds from 1 vanilla bean and add the ground cinnamon . Pour in 3 1⁄2 cups water, stir, and cover the bowl. Let sit overnight.

2. The next day, pour the watery rice and nut mixture into a medium saucepan and warm it over a low heat. Stir in 2 oz. dark brown sugar, 1 1⁄2 oz. chopped very dark chocolate, and 2 cups water, mixing until all is well combined. (You may wish to add more cinnamon and sugar.) Once the liquid is even in color and just barely simmering, remove the saucepan from heat and let it come to room temperature. Then pour the contents into a large bowl, cover, and let chill for at least 3 hours.

3. Once it has cooled, strain the horchata—which should be a milky, dappled brown—through a fine-mesh sieve and into a pitcher, taking care to press the last bits of liquid from the rice and seed solids. If some nutty kernels make their way into the pitcher, don't worry; they will only enhance the drink's wonderfully thick texture. To serve, pour over ice cubes and garnish with a piece of cinnamon bark. Enjoy immediately.