Day four of 12 Days of Oscar brings us our first Oscar-nominated film. The 2000 film Chocolat was nominated for five Oscars (Best Actress in a Leading Role, Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Music, Best Picture, and Best Screenplay). Best Picture went to Gladiator that year, but Gladiator didn’t feature a menu as inspiring as all of the chocolate in Chocolat.
Chocolat is set in a small, conservative, French village in 1959. Vianne (Juliette Binoche), arrives with her young daughter in tow and opens up a chocolate shop. She creates scandal by not only opening on Sundays, in its location across the street from a church, but also remaining open during the forty days of Lent. Her chocolate confections begin to have an effect on the townspeople, because Vianne has a knack for guessing people’s favorite chocolate, which then unleashes their hidden desires. Things really heat up when a group of gypsies set up camp on the outskirts of town and Vianne has a strong attraction to the gypsy Roux (Johnny Depp).
Vianne’s chocolate shop is named “Chocolaterie Maya,” and the scene where Vianne serves Armande (Judi Dench) Mayan hot chocolate is when Vianne gains her first friend in the village. I decided it was fitting to represent this film with some Mayan hot chocolate, an amazing blend of dark chocolate and spicy pepper. It’s out of the ordinary, and sure to warm up the coldest of nights. You first notice the sweetness and creaminess, like a traditional hot chocolate, and then suddenly there’s this little kick.
Mayan Hot Chocolate
8 oz. whole milk
4 Tbs. cocoa powder
2 Tbs. sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
Heat the milk in a small saucepan, do not boil, for about 5 minutes over medium-high heat.
Add the cocoa powder, sugar, and spices and whisk until combined.
Pour into a mug and top with whipped cream if desired.
Makes 1 serving (double as needed for additional servings).
Source: adapted from The Leftover Queen