I hate the winter. I’m pretty sure there are only three things that make it tolerable:
1) It’s an excuse to drink hot chocolate. Lots and lots of hot chocolate.
2) It’s an excuse to eat soup. Lots and lots of soup.
3) It’s an excuse to wear cute scarves and hats. Okay that one doesn’t have anything to do with food, but who doesn’t love a cute winter hat?
Every year when spring comes, I’m happy and thankful it’s here, but the same feeling of loss comes over me: the feeling that it will soon be too warm to enjoy my two favorite cold-weather foods. Choosing to ignore the balmy high 60s weather outside today, I snuck my beloved Hot Chocolate book off the shelf.
The concept of this book sounds simple enough, but what makes it stand out is that all of the recipes are from amazing cafes and bakeries around the world. Every recipe I’ve made from it has made me smile. When I made today’s choice, a recipe from L’Artisan du Chocolat (London, England), I served it with a souffle cup and a spoon instead of the usual mug. It felt like I was 5 years old and eating dessert for dinner. I highly recommend you try it! The gooey homemade marshmallows melting away in the center made it that much more pleasurable. Appropriate timing be damned, I could enjoy this all spring or summer long.
If you’re in the mood for a CPB soup, some peanut butter sauce drizzled over the finished hot chocolate would be killer!
Recipe after the break. Enjoy!
from L’Artisan du Chocolat, London, England
modified from Hot Chocolate
Yields 2 Demitasse Servings
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup 2% milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 1/2 Tbsp firmly packed brown sugar
pinch of salt
dash of pure vanilla extract
1 oz Askinosie Davao Dark Milk Chocolate
3 oz Askinosie 77% Davao Dark Chocolate
homemade marshmallows, cut into bite-size pieces, for garnish
- The original recipe called for 3/4 whole milk and no 2%, but I decided to lighten it up a little. It is still *plenty* rich!
- If you don’t have these particular varieties of fabulous chocolates on-hand, any high quality bittersweet would do.
In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the milk, cream, brown sugar, salt, and vanilla and heat until it measures about 176°F on a candy thermometer. Put the chocolate into a small bowl. When the milk has reached the proper temperature, carefully pour 1/4 cup of the hot milk into the chocolate. Stir constantly, using small circular moves in the center (as you would for a mayonnaise), until it forms a shiny paste. Pour the paste back into the remaining hot milk mixture and stir until thoroughly blended. Let it cool uncovered. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean saucepan and gently reheat over low heat. Pour into souffle cups and garnish with freshly cut, homemade marshmallows. Eat with a spoon!