Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hot Chocolate

I've been making Hot Chocolate for a long time.  It's gone through many iterations including a dry mix version.
Instant Hot Cocoa
1 2/3 c      instant powdered milk
1/3 c         superfine sugar (adjust to your own taste)
1/3 c         cocoa powder (you can also add more to make it more chocolaty)
1/3 t          salt - helps bring up the flavor ~ if you don't have a 1/3 teaspoon measure you can estimate the amount (best to less as you can always add a touch more). 
1. Combine and sift ingredients together (sifting will help remove clumps as well as yielding a more homogeneous mixture.
2. Add the salt last but not through the sifter as it may not go through.
3. Then Mix together very well
Start out using about 4 Tablespoons of the mixture.  Pour just simmering water over the mixture and whisk with a fork or mini whisk.  You can adjust to your own taste. It may take a minute for the particles to dissolve.

Today I had a wonderful lunch at Gramercy Tavern in the Tavern not the back room. I had the Smoked Pork Shoulder with Sweet Potatoes, Salsify, and Bacon Broth. The flavors melded together so well with all the different textures, served in a bowl with just the right amount of broth. It was the perfect meal for such a cold day with a piece of delicious bread it was a little bit of food heaven.  
As usual I declined dessert but they had Hot Chocolate on the drink menu and of course I was curious.  Have no fear it was wonderful and the largest cup ~ it was rich and thick and chocolatey that I couldn't drink it fast..... heeheehee, with nice cool loose whipped cream on top..  In fact it was enough for 3 nice portions to just hit the spot. I really had to compare it to the recipe I'm using and I can tell you now it's pretty good.

The recipe I'm using has been adapted from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Herme
Hot Chocolate
1 cup milk
2T water
*the original recipe contains 2 T sugar I do not add the sugar*
2 oz bittersweet chocolate (Callebaut, or 75% Valrhona, Trader Joe's 72% is also good, a Madagascar or Dominican such as Mast Brothers is amazing)
Bring milk, water and (optional sugar to simmer until sugar dissolves.  
Remove from the hear & then ~
Add choco & let it sit for a minute.
Then put the mix back on the heat and beat with whisk on until you see one gurgle of a bubble as the mixture begins to come back to a boil.
Take off heat and continue whisking (with a quick back and forth motion) until frothy.
At this point it is perfect.
Except for me where I want to add another ¼ cup of hot water. I like my hot chocolate to be a drink not a sweet dessert.  Most other people would prefer whipped cream.  So go ahead make some whipped cream but keep it very cold and loose so its just creamy on top.

The hot chocolate can be made in advance then cooled and stored in the fridge for up to 1 week. It will get very thick almost like a ganache.Take out the desired portion and heat gently on the stove top or in a double -boiler. 

Have Fun and Enjoy!

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