Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Perfect Hot Chocolate

I used to think I didn't like hot chocolate. It seemed so wimpy compared to coffee. Coffee makes me feel kind of crazy, but I would regularly pick that feeling over the buyer's regret that would go along with me sitting there with a big mug of watery brown hot chocolate. At some point I saw the movie Chocolat -- I thought the movie was pretty weak, but the hot chocolate making scene stuck with me -- she made it look so saucy and intense and delicious. 

I have tried over the years to come up with the perfect recipe for hot chocolate, the saucy-as-heck kind, and I think I've got it. Some hard-core recipes call for actual chocolate, but I have left that out because 1. hot chocolate is something you want on the spur of the moment or, in my case, every day, and chocolate isn't always lying around and 2. i think if you use the cocoa the right way and get the right kind, you don't need to use chocolate itself. OK. So. Here it is...

This makes 1 cup of hot chocolate. Multiply the recipe as needed.

2 HEAPING-ASSED (your relationship to chocolate will define this for you) Tablespoons (using actual measuring spoons) of Organic, Fair Trade, Dutch Process Cocoa Powder (ie. Cocoa Camino -- widely available at Save on Foods, Dominion, Whole Foods, Capers, health food stores, etc.)

1 cup -1 1/4 cup of unsweetened organic soymilk (I like nutrasoy or silk) Try one cup, add more at the end if you want it more milky.

half a pinch of sea salt

two Tablespoons of organic, fair-trade raw whole sugar cane (like Panela de los Andes), more like 1 T if you are using something like Cocoa Camino sugar or any other sugar that is even kind of refined (brown, turbinado, pretty much most of the sugar that's out there.)

In a small saucepan, combine the cocoa powder, and about 1/4 cup of the soymilk. With a whisk, combine the soymilk and cocoa into a paste. This makes sure that when you add the other stuff that there are no lumps in your precious cocoa. Use a small spoon or a clean finger to go along the bottom edges of the pan to make sure to free up any cocoa wedged in the corners, and whisk that in as well. Make a nice smooth paste. It's looking pretty sexy, amirite?!

OK, so now turn the heat on to medium, and add the rest of the ingredients and whisk again until combined. Stand there whisking gently as it all heats up -- don't walk away or you'll scorch shiz to the bottom of your pot and make me sad. So, whisk away, and as you start to see it getting hot, whisk quickly, incorporating more air and trying to create a froth on top. 

Froth that little vixen up, and then pour into a mug. Now go watch Oprah. 



mishka said...

So easy! So easy, in fact, wouldn't I be crazy to not try this Right Now??

Well, I will try it. Maybe tonight :) With almond milk, because that's what we have.

Thanks for making me crave extra calories! :)

Katie said...

Mmmmmmm. Hot chocolate.

The awesome student run coffee shop on campus makes a killer hot chocolate, although you have to be careful to order the 'aztec gold' hot chocolate, not the regular one. It's organic fair trade dark chocolate with chilli peppers in it. Dark chocolatey and spicey. Soooo good.

And when I was in Finland the boutique hotel had this hot chocolate mix at the coffee bar that was sensational. I swiped as many packs as possible and brought them home. Not as good as the real thing, but in a hot chocolate emergency, it does the trick all nice like.