Sunday, September 23, 2007

Please pass the marshmallows

So, I know I'm going to be totally regretting this in February when we've had a lot of c-c-c-cold days and an ice storm or two, but I am really wanting the cooler weather to get here ALREADY!

Today it was 93 degrees. It's the end of September and it is 93 degrees. Can't it just be in the 60's or 70's for a while?

All I want is a large mug of warm hot chocolate. Not cocoa, real hot chocolate. The kind that is not much more than melted chocolate and crème.

Okay, hot chocolate, a pile of books, my sofa, a blanket and my snuggly puppy -

And if I have to go out, a pair of these to tuck my jeans into.

If you've only had Cocoa (milk + ground cocoa + sugar + vanilla + ground cinnamon), then you don't know real Hot Chocolate. The kind they serve at the famous Angelina's in Paris. And having Hot Chocolate in Angelina's should be on the list of things you do before you die, because it is To. Die. For.

In case you want to try and recreate the experience at home (and you should. Often), here's a recipe:

Angelina’s Hot Chocolate
The Angelina Cafe in Paris, open since 1903, serves a thick hot chocolate version in demitasse cups with a tiny dollop of mascarpone and whipped cream. They are famous for making hot chocolate from melted chocolate bars. Serve it in small cups or in 17th-century style chocolate pots and demitasse cups such as those sold in gourmet shops.

Be careful when you make it. I made a batch of French Hot Chocolate once for me and my husband. We drank it all because we didn't want to waste any of it. I never have anything with caffeine in it and started getting a racing heart beat and nearly passed out. It was a major caffeine overload. So pace yourself!

6 ounces fine-quality semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1/4 cup water, room temperature

3 tablespoons hot water

3 cups hot milk, divided

Sugar to taste

Real whipped cream, if desired

In a double boiler over low heat, combine chocolate and 1/4 cup water until melted, stirring occasionally; stir until smooth.
Remove top of double boiler pan from. Whisk in 3 tablespoons hot water. Pour into pitcher or divide among individual 4 mugs. Either stir 3/4 cup hot milk into each mug or serve milk in a separate pitcher.

Pass sugar and whipped cream in separate bowls; add to taste.
Makes 4 servings.

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