Whether it be a piece of dark chocolate or a cup of steamy hot cocoa, I must have chocolate every single day. I usually make a healthier cup of Mexican hot cocoa in the mornings. If I've had a particularly stressful evening at the hospital or when I want something really decadent, it has to be this elegant, Italian classic. It's like a warm-liquid-chocolate-truffle in a cup... incredibly rich, dark and luxurious, a little goes a long way. In need of a little chocolate-cheer? Sip this and be soothed. There's a secret ingredient that makes it extra creamy.
A vintage Victorian Chocolate Pot that I picked up for a bargain price
at a little antique shop in New England.
|Painting by Berthe Morisot of a Young Woman Sewing.|
French cross-stitcheded monogram done with white silk thread on light blue linen.
Back to the hot chocolate.....
I found this recipe in Michael Turback's Book Hot Chocolate. He claims that Caffe Florian, in Venice, is the spiritual home of Italian hot chocolate. Waiters, dressed in white jackets, serve this dark, thick liquid with lots of freshly whipped cream on top. Sounds right up my alley!
Have you seen the movie Chocolat with Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp? (Spoiler Alert!) There are so many things to love about that movie... the little French chocolate shop... the clothes that Juliette's character, Vianne, wears...Vianne's uncanny ability to know the exact favorite chocolate of each one of her customers. At the end, Vianne finally figures out that Roux, played by Johnny Depp, favors hot chocolate above all else. That scene has always stuck with me. Maybe it's because I heart hot chocolate too.
I adapted this recipe from Michael Turback's recipe for Cioccolato Caldo found in his book Hot Chocolate.
It's meant to be served in smaller amounts. A little, or a lot, of whipped cream on top is how they serve it in Venice.
I make it with non-dairy, coconut milk. Michael's recipe calls for regular, whole milk. Use whatever milk you fancy.
I use my real vanilla bean sugar in this recipe. But you can use regular white sugar too.
The link for my real vanilla sugar is in the recipe and after The Rundown.
Cornstarch is the secret ingredient. A wee bit is mixed with water and added to the simmering chocolate, creating a thick and creamy cup of proper hot chocolate. Believe me, it works like a charm here.
If you don't finish it, you can actually store it in an airtight container in the fridge for a day or two. Reheat in the microwave until warm. Stir a spoonful or two into your morning coffee for a delicious mocha.
- 1 3.5 ounce bar of good quality, dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces. I used Lindt 85% Cocoa Extra Dark Excellence. It's intense and on the bittersweet side. Use whatever dark chocolate you like.
- 1 cup of coconut milk beverage or regular whole milk. If you like it even darker and richer, use 3/4 cup of milk.
- 1/4 teaspoon of cornstarch mixed with 2 teaspoons of water. (See notes)
- 1 teaspoon of my vanilla sugar or regular white sugar. How much sugar you add is a matter of personal preference.
Put the chopped chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave until chocolate melts. Be careful not to burn it. Stop and stir it a few times as you melt it in the microwave. Put the coconut milk or regular milk and sugar in a pot. Heat it on medium heat. Bring to a gentle simmer. Add some of the milk to the melted chocolate and whisk to combine. Add the melted chocolate to the pot with the rest of the milk along with the cornstarch and water solution. Simmer for 3-5 minutes, whisking the whole time. The more you cook it the thicker and creamier it will be. Sip and Enjoy!
Real Vanilla Bean Sugar
The best brownies I've ever made! Rich, moist, deep dark chocolate. The perfect combo of fudgy and cakey.
Coconut Milk Chocolate Mousse. Easy, healthy and delicious!