Keep warm with homemade hot chocolate! Discussion of chocolate types. Recommendations for variations.
Basic Hot Chocolate
- 4 cups of whole milk
- 8 ounces of chocolate (60% cacao, preferably)
- 3 teaspoons of powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon of salt
1 Finely chop the chocolate into small pieces. The pieces have to be able to dissolve easily in the liquid.
2 Place the milk into a small, thick-bottomed pot on low heat and bring to a low simmer. Whisk once in a while to ensure that the milk doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.
2a If you plan to steep herbs or spices, add the herbs or spices to the milk, bring to a simmer then take off heat and allow to steep for 10 minutes. Strain the liquid then place back into the pot and return to a simmer.
3 Add the vanilla, powdered sugar, salt, and chocolate and whisk vigorously until the chocolate has melted.
3a If using liquors add them to the chocolate.
4 Heat for another 4 minutes, constantly stirring.
Serve. Add a dollop of whipped cream if you want.
Steep a vanilla bean and a cinnamon stick in the milk while simmering. After whisking in the chocolate and letting it rest and reheat, cool it down a tad with a small bit of cream and throw some orange zest on top to perk it all up. Very Parisian.
A teaspoon of Chinese five spice does wonders and gives it a slightly oriental kick. A fabulous twist on hot chocolate. Another viable alternative is Chai spice for something a bit more familiar.
Some edible lavender and lemon zest in white hot chocolate are aromatic and perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth.
I like rum in my hot chocolate. Rum is good.