Hot, Hot Chocolate

October 19th, 2010  |  23 Comments

I had these marshmallows lying around and the thought of eating them plain just didn’t appeal. I decided to copy the ways of the City Bakery, a top notch lunch and dessert place. They make the sexiest hot chocolate I have ever met, way beyond the ho-hum. If I step through their doors, it’s a sure bet I’m having some. Just watching them serve it is a carnal pleasure in itself. The mix is so thick and creamy, you can see the weight of it flow out of the ladle. If a hot chocolate can be considered “slow food,” this is it. Just as my drooling reflexes kick in, the server drops in the fattest marshmallow cube in the metropolitan area.The edges begin to barely meld into the steamy liquid. I dip my spoon in. It comes out coated and marbled with swirls of dark and white. Oh, my word, it’s good. With this much body, it’s not so much a drink, as a full fledged dessert. A real craving extinguisher.

To get that level of decadence, I guessed the secret had to be in the high fat content, probably from whole milk, or maybe even, gasp!, heavy cream — and full-on chocolate, not just cocoa powder. The mixture should be a close cousin to ganache, heavy on the chocolate, low on the liquids. Since a few sips are so satisfying, a tiny serving is more than enough. If you can’t wrap your head around all these calories, I understand. I suppose you can scale back to replacing the cream with milk, or using lower fat milk all together, but then, you’re on your own with this decision, and I take no responsibility for your enjoyment of the result, or life in general.

My favorite thing about this is that it takes all of five minutes, so I can indulge any time. With anticipation of my upcoming cravings, I made enough for a few cups, poured the leftovers in a jar, and refrigerated it. Not surprisingly, it solidifies somewhat when chilled, proof of it’s generous chocolate ratio. Reheat gently over low heat to bring it back. It keeps for as long as any milk product, 5 days, give or take.

I don’t know if this is gilding the lily, but I added a little chile powder for a twist. It adds an intriguing layer of smoky heat. Purely optional. There’s a world of potential additions — powders, like cinnamon or espresso, extracts, like mint or orange, or if you’ve had a rough day, good old fashioned booze.

Spicy Hot Chocolate

It’s almost silly to post a recipe for hot chocolate, but you won’t be sorry, I promise. The chile powder is not blaring hot, like you’d think, but rather a subtle wake-me-up. And of course it’s up to you if you want to use it at all.

makes about 6 small servings

2 cups (470 mL) whole milk
3/4 cup (175 mL) cream 
2 tablespoons (24 g) sugar
9 oz. (250g) dark chocolate, finely chopped. I used Callebaut here and it rocked.
1 teaspoon chile powder, something with a little personality, like New Mexico chile powder or ancho. I used whatever I had in the cubbard.

1. Soon to be liquid gold:

 

2. Pour the milk, cream and sugar into a small pot. Bring to a simmer. Try not to get distracted or risk the dreaded boiling-over of the contents. (Hate that.)

 

3. Once it’s hot, turn off the heat, and throw in the chile powder (if using.)

 

4. Pour the hot milk over the chocolate…

 

…and let it sit just like that for a moment or two. The heat will melt the chocolate pieces.

 

6. Finally, whisk it up until it’s completely dissolved.

 

If I was at the restaurant, I’d pass it through a strainer before serving, and you’re certainly welcome to, but my laziness kicked in, and I couldn’t wait.

Spicy Hot Chocolate

It’s almost silly to post a recipe for hot chocolate, but you won’t be sorry, I promise. The chile powder is not blaring hot, like you’d think, but rather a subtle wake-me-up. And of course it’s up to you if you want to use it at all.

makes about 6 small servings

2 cups (470 mL) whole milk
3/4 cup (175 mL) cream 
2 tablespoons (24 g) sugar
9 oz. (250 g) dark chocolate, finely chopped, placed in a large bowl. I used Callebaut here and it rocked.
1 teaspoon chile powder, something with a little personality, like New Mexico chile powder or ancho. I used whatever I had in the cubbard.

1. Pour the milk, cream and sugar into a small pot. Bring to a simmer. Try not to get distracted or risk the dreaded boiling-over of the contents.

2. Turn off the heat, and whisk in the chile powder (if using.)

3. Pour the hot milk over the chocolate and let it sit just like that for a moment or two. The heat will melt the chocolate pieces.

4. Finally, whisk it up until it’s completely dissolved.

5. Strain, if you’re feeling refined.






23 Responses to “Hot, Hot Chocolate”

  1. Cyndy says:

    Oh boy does this look wonderful right now. it’s cool and rainy here and this would be comfort in a cup. Now I have to whip up some marshmallows to go with it! Gorgeous photo too.

    Thank You for your nice comment on my Affogato

  2. PastryPal says:

    Cyndy, I can barely keep up with you ladies. You’re all baking up a storm!

  3. Oh my! That looks truly sinful. Yumm. Send me a caseload or two :P

  4. PastryPal says:

    Avanika — Yes, it’s pure sin :)

  5. Borislava says:

    Just the thing I need now! Without straining, of course :)
    I definitely like your style of writing

  6. PastryPal says:

    Hi Borislava — Heh, we are a bunch of corner-cutting dessert makers, aren’t we ? :)

  7. my my…that is shamelessly decadent! (: hand me a cup o’er here will ya?

    http://greenoatsandjam.wordpress.com

  8. let’s hear it for sin. This is so easy and looks so good. You could play around with the heat-of-choice too and put a teeny bit of pure cayenne. Then it would cure your cold, your ill temper, and your wishes for a long and prosperous life.

  9. This sound SO good! I’ve baked chile with chocolate before but never in hot chocolate. And homemade marshmallows are the perfect addition!

  10. PastryPal says:

    Linda — Hear, hear for sin! I’m down with the cayenne. My temper could use some curing right about now.

    Jennifer — I’m so glad to see you’re still here!

  11. OK. So I charged up to the kitchen and made this. Had all the ingredients plus that shot of cayenne. and I even lopped off a step. Why pour the hot mixture into a bowl? Just turn the fire off, add chocolate to the pan and whisk whisk whisk. OMG. Soooooo good. And if you’re on a low carb diet, like I am, you can even trade out the sugar for your fave sweetener. I used a bit of stevia. The chocolate and chili flavor is so dominant, no one will even notice. May I have your permission to link to you and share this heavenly recipe with my readers at http://www.thesilverclouddiet.com.

    What a winner. And, I betcha can’t drink just one…. ha

  12. Zo says:

    I’ll be honest – I’ve never had a hot chocolate that I’ve really liked, even if it is laden with cream. I think it’s the excessive sweetness, which explains why mochas are fine for me. Maybe chilli is the answer!

    To answer your question: I always look for ways to make sweet treats healthier (not necessarily lower in fat), but ONLY if it improve the taste, or doesn’t affect it negatively.

  13. PastryPal says:

    Linda — Wow, you don’t waste a second! And glad to see you’ve found a way to fit this in with low carbing ;) Feel free to link to this, absolutely.
    Zo — Ah, well, I suppose I could try and convert you, but I happen to like mocha, too. I drink my coffee with milk, and NO sugar, so I know what you mean about things being too sweet. This hot chocolate is made with dark, and very little sugar, so maybe, just maybe…

  14. PastryPal says:

    Hannah — I know. I support the “no shame” stance in dessert consumption :).

  15. Dina says:

    i love the recipe. creamy and rich with a little kick!

  16. ardna says:

    if I’m having a bad day i will def just eat up any sweets i have, calories be damned! :D just found ur blog and loving it! i have a sweet little dream of becoming a pastry chef one day and this dessert are purrfect! i think i’m gonna make it with a dash of orange zest or mint extract. hmmm…. *dreamyeyes*

  17. Deeba@PAB says:

    Oooh, just what I need. Love everything about this cuppa! Some things are just better calorie laden! YUM!

  18. PastryPal says:

    Ardna — You’re definitely thinking like a pastry chef already. And I’m so glad you found the blog.
    Deeba — Thanks so much for stopping by! Your blog revamp looks fantastic, by the way.

  19. Elizabeth says:

    Yay! You’re back! I’m so glad you are back! And so happy about your hubby too…:) Congrats on the new house and I hope to be hearing from you much more often now!

  20. PastryPal says:

    Hi Elizabeth! So, so glad to see you here! And yes, I will visit your blog. You’re one of my favorite bloggers, after all!

  21. Looks really rich and comforting like a good mug of hot chocolate should be :).

  22. Shirley Barr says:

    Linda Eckhardt, cooking teaching extraordinaire, told me about your delightful blog. As she said, the photos really pop! Making that hot chocolate look just as dreamy as you described is impressive. This is very much like my vintage Mexican Hot Chocolate recipe–yum! Can’t wait to read some of your other blog spots!

  23. PastryPal says:

    Shirley — Thanks for taking the time to drop by!

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