Not Your Mom’s Hot Chocolate

Back in a more Civilized Time, long before the advent of Starbucks, there existed a thing known as a Chocolate House.  There were coffee houses back then – we’re talking the late 17th Century – but with the arrival of chocolate from the New World, it became fashionable to meet in a chocolate house and burn up their wi-fi conduct business meetings, or just relax.

hot chocolate

Shopping List:

  • 7oz 80% (or better) dark chocolate
  • 4oz milk chocolate
  • at least a pint of half-and-half or heavy cream (whipping cream is also okay)
  • whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla (optional) for whipped cream

But enough of that.  If you want a lovely overview of the history of chocolate, try here:  I know you’re here for a more serious purpose – to make hot chocolate so decadent the angel on your shoulder will give in to temptation.

First, you need a double-boiler.  There is no way around it, and you should have one, just for this and mousses (if you’re brave).

Next, you’re going to need some chocolate.  I recommend 7oz (two bars) of at least 80% dark semi-sweet, and 3-4oz of milk chocolate – I generally grab a couple of Lindt bars for the former, and I’ve had good luck with Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips for the latter.

Melt the chocolate in the double-boiler until it’s completely liquid, and homogenized.  Then, add some dairy – I generally use half-and-half, but I’ve been known to use heavy cream – until the desired consistency is reached.  Somewhere around the consistency of freshly mixed cake batter (or heavy motor oil).  Depending on how thick your cream is, and how much you have… I usually also temper with whole milk to thin it out a bit.

Boom.  Done.  Serve small amounts in tiny cups – seriously, you’re going to be good with about three-four ounces.

If you want to go all crazy, make some whipped cream with a dash of vanilla (creme Chantilly) and put a dab on top.

Note: I didn’t do a nutrition breakdown because if you have to ask, you probably can’t afford it.  I did the math, and three chocolate bars and a half-pint of whipping cream works out to around 550 calories each for six people.