Warm up your winter with a cup of French chocolat chaud
November 28, 2012
By Deanna Morauski
Up until Aug. 18, 2011, I thought hot chocolate was made from cocoa powder. Then, my life changed. There are some days in a girl’s life that she will never, ever forget. You know, like the day she meets her future husband. The days her children come into the world. The day that O.J. Simpson raced down the highway in a police chase. And the day she is introduced to chocolat chaud.
For me, it happened Aug. 19, 2011. A friend and I were speaking bloggish over surprisingly delicious vegan sandwiches and I was sharing with her that I had received a couple of notes from disgruntled readers who had given me an education about real chocolate.
“They were almost vicious,” I said in confusion.
“That’s it,” she responded, “Finish your dessert. We’re gonna go get you some real hot chocolate.”
So I hurried to finish a couple more bites of my vegan brownie and then used the sense I had left to ask for a doggy bag.
“Are you sure this isn’t pudding?” I asked about the chocolat chaud.
I was certainly not used to such gloriousness in a cup. For it was a liquid candy bar. And I shall never go back.
I knew I had to learn to make it so I went home, put on my laboratory jacket (also known as a T-shirt with stains on the front) and started playing.
French chocolat chaud ingredients:
12.25 ounces of the best dark chocolate you can buy (I use three and a half 3.5-ounce bars of Valrhona 71 percent cacao from Trader Joe’s.)
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup 2 percent milk
3/4 cup sugar (Can be adjusted as needed. If you use semi-sweet chocolate, the sugar isn’t necessary.)
2 teaspoons vanilla
Dash of salt (optional)
Break chocolate bars into small pieces.
Place chocolate in a double boiler on low heat. Stir occasionally and don’t allow chocolate to go over 110 degrees as it melts.
Stir in heavy cream.
Stir in milk.
Add vanilla and salt.
Pour chocolat chaud into your prettiest cup or your coziest mug. Make some homemade whipped cream, because this chocolat deserves the real thing. Sprinkle with cocoa powder. Kick back and create a new moment you will always remember.
This recipe makes three full servings or six mini servings.
Thank you, vicious chocolate lovers, for opening my eyes.
Deanna Morauski owns, operates and cooks at the Old Hen Bed and Breakfast near North Bend with her husband John. She also blogs about food and cooking at www.theoldhen.com. Follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/theoldhen or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/theoldhen.