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This silky smooth blend is fabulous for dipping all your favorite fondue items, but works equally well as a decadent ganache style sauce for drizzling or as a base for cozy hot chocolate. Poured into pretty jars and tied up with ribbon, it makes a perfect last minute gift. On the show we used Theo chocolate, which is our local darling, and made with extraordinary care. The flavor truly reflects that.
(Makes about 2 cups)

1-1/3 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 ounces excellent dark (71% or higher) chocolate, finely chopped
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons orange zest
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon (or to taste) chipotle powder

In a heavy saucepan, combine the cream and the butter. Bring to a boil. Immediately remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Swirl the pan to ensure that all of the chocolate is submerged in the cream. Set the pan aside and allow to rest for 7-8 minutes. This will melt the chocolate.

Stir the mixture to blend well. Add the maple syrup, orange zest, cinnamon and chipotle. Taste for balance and add a little more chipotle if you re feeling spicy!

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