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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Frozen Mexican Hot Chocolate with Liquefied Prom Queen Brains inspired by iZombie

Frozen Mexican Hot Chocolate with Liquefied Prom Queen Brains inspired by iZombie
I've been wanting to do an iZombie-inspired post for quite some time now, and with tonight being the 2-hour season two finale, I figured there was no time like the present. If you're not familiar with iZombie, you might be thinking "oh no, not another zombie show". But it's so different from all of the others out there right now, that I recommend not dismissing it before you've watched a couple of episodes (because then you hopefully won't want to).

iZombie airs on The CW and is based on the DC Comics' Vertigo imprint I, Zombie that was created in 2010. I've ever read the comics, but the title sequence and some scene openers throughout each show are in "comic form". Our lead character, Liv is scratched at a party in the first episode and wakes up a zombie. In this show you can recognize zombies by their white hair and skin—initially, as some choose to die their hair and visit a tanning bed.

The biggest difference in the "zombies as we know them" and these is that these zombies are functioning members of the society. With the exception that they need to eat brains to survive (and not go full-on zombie mode). While they can eat normal food in an everyday setting, it doesn't satisfy their real hunger...and it doesn't taste good unless they douse it in something spicy. You can recognize a zombie's kitchen by the amazing collection of hot sauce bottles on the counter.

Liv was a medical resident before the change, but went to work in the Medical Examiner's office after she became a zombie, giving her easy access to brains. There she meets and becomes not only colleagues, but friends with, Ravi. Ravi brings the British accent and awesome banter, he might just be my favorite character. He knows about zombies and the fact that Liv is one, and is currently trying to work out a cure.
ingredients for frozen Mexican hot chocolate
She also discovered that when she (or any zombie) eats a brain, she absorbs the memories of the person she's dining on. Since the morgue is in the basement of the police station, she convinces Detective Clive Babineaux that she is a psychic, finding a new purpose in this life she has to adapt to, by helping the police solve murders.

Okay there is so much more to the show (watch it, really), but I want to get into the food aspect of it. Since Liv has to eat brains every episode, she's begun to get more and more creative with the way she prepares them. In the beginning it was sort of a close your eyes and plug your nose sort of thing, but as season 1 progressed, the food she made actually kind of looked tasty. And the food in season 2 really does look tasty.

So, between her meals and the other food mentioned throughout the episodes, there is pretty much endless inspiration. I kind of want to feature an iZombie recipe weekly, but that's just crazy talk. So, I went with something inspired by Episode 13 of Season 1 titled "Dead Rat, Live Rat, Brown Rat, White Rat".

In this episode, the brain that Liv has to dine on is that of a "prom queen cheerleader" type of high school girl. Unfortunately she was dead for 2 weeks before anybody found her, so what she was left with was even less pleasant than what she was used to.

Liv's Cold Mexican Hot Chocolate with Two Week Old Liquefied Prom Queen Brains on iZombie
"Can we not talk about high school right now? It's hard not to feel like you've peaked when you're doing shots of two week old liquefied prom queen brains in cold Mexican hot chocolate."

I decided to go build on Liv's cold hot chocolate by making something I've been wanting to try for a while anyway—frozen hot chocolate. Guess what? It was pretty freaking amazing. Liv totally should have thrown hers into a blender with some ice and gotten frothy with it! Initially I added 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne to my mix, but that really set fire to my throat as I swallowed...which was kind of crazy since slushy frozen chocolate followed it down. I decided to reduce the amount added to the recipe to a healthy pinch (but any zombies trying this can feel free to add more).

She had to drink it twice in this episode, and here's a little clip of the second time that includes Ravi "cheering" her on. I laugh every single time I watch it (and I've watched it more times than I can count).
I'm pretty sure that I'll be back with some more iZombie-inspired food in the future...because it's just too much fun to try and figure out how to make brains-not-brains into something delicious!

Frozen Mexican Hot Chocolate with Liquefied Prom Queen Brains
Enjoy your hot chocolate even in the heat of summer with this rich, chile and cinnamon-laced Mexican frozen hot chocolate recipe. (Two week old liquefied prom queen brains optional.)
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Frozen Mexican Hot Chocolate with Liquefied Prom Queen Brains inspired by iZombie
by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 2 hours (mostly unattended)
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Keywords: beverage dessert vegetarian mexican chocolate cream milk frozen American summer

Ingredients (serves 2 (large) or 4 (regular) )
  • 1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 3.25 ounces Mexican chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • pinch of ground cayenne pepper (zombies should add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon)
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 cups ice
for the liquefied prom queen brains:
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 drops red liquid food coloring
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
Make the hot chocolate mixture a couple of hours before you're ready to serve:
Place all ingredients in a small saucepot over low heat. Bring to just under a simmer, so that the milk is just steaming, stirring often so that everything dissolves. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate or freeze until very cool (1 to 2 hours).

Make the liquefied prom queen brain just before you're ready to make and serve your frozen hot chocolate:
Pour the cream into a large bowl and add the red food coloring. Use a whisk or hand mixer to whip until soft peaks form. Add the powdered sugar and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Pile gently into a quart-sized baggie and zip it shut.

Finishing it off:
Pour the chilled hot chocolate mixture into the jar of a blender and add the ice. Puree on high until it is the consistency of a frozen cocktail. Pour into a glass, leaving an inch of space at the top.

Snip a small corner from the baggie of whipped cream. Pipe the whipped cream (ahem, liquefied brains) in "strands" that look like loose brain matter on top of the frozen hot chocolate.

-inspired by and adapted from this frozen hot chocolate at Smitten Kitchen and this one at Epicurious and Liv from iZombie (S1E12), of course.
Frozen Mexican Hot Chocolate with Liquefied Prom Queen Brains inspired by iZombie