Hot chocolate. A widely misunderstood confection that deserves clarification.
I'm no stranger to the watered down and sometimes intensely powder milk versions served at gatherings like football games, the classiest of gas stations and church functions. I'm not exactly turning up my nose, they have their place and function, but when I want to indulge in something warming and intense, I want it to live up to its name. I have heard about places like Angélina in Paris where the famed hot chocolate is almost as important an attraction as its eastern neighbor - the Louvre. Or Madame Constantin's chocolat chaud served at Steiger (also in Paris), which she lovingly called, "grandmother's hot chocolate" that was also described as angelina's on steroids. Storybooks talk of chocolate drinks that can only be experienced while in magical places, and I am willing to bet you wish you could have a cup. right now.
Be warned, this beverage is not for the faint hearted; which is probably why the babe was enamored. I realize now the juxtaposition it is, serving such an intense and serious beverage in a santa head mug. :)
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, at least 70% cacao
1 cup whole milk or almond milk
1/4 to 1/2 cup whole cream or coconut cream
1/4 a vanilla bean
1-2 teaspoons maple syrup or other sweetener, to taste
In a small saucepan, heat milk, cream and vanilla bean on medium low until it begins to bubble. Reduce the heat and add the chocolate that has been broken into pieces. Whisk until the chocolate has melted. Remove the vanilla bean and add sweetener to taste. Serve hot, garnished with homemade marshmallows, a drizzle of cream, a pinch of cinnamon, or chocolate shavings.
yield: one gluttonous serving or two in demitasses (half cup mugs).
•this would be an awesome christmas gift:: the recipe, a quality chocolate bar, cream from a local farm, and two demitasse mugs? yes please.
•looking for a local chocolatier? try amano in orem
•I have heard wonderful things about Communal's hot chocolate as well; in one word, "perfect". I wonder if I brought my own almond milk maybe they would serve me up a steaming mug?
• add barely a drop of peppermint essential oil = mint hot chocolate
•you can add a half shot of clean liquor for a bit of drama. for you thespians.