Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Weekly Recipe #48: Dreamy Hot Chocolate

By Jeanne Foels, Marketing & Outreach Coordinator

This week, I made myself forget about the teasing, spring-like interludes we've been having and instead focused on hunkering down for actual chilly temperatures. My winter nesting habits involve lots of warm beverages, so I decided to try making some great hot chocolate. This recipe is made up of ingredients that are probably already in your pantry, and it's easy to make -- just warm the ingredients in a saucepan and whip them up. Ta da! Coffeehouse-quality hot chocolate in your kitchen.

The addition of vanilla extract comes from my days slinging sweet drinks at a Northfield coffee shop. Vanilla was the top-secret ingredient in our mochas and hot chocolates. (Shh, don't tell!)

Use the best bittersweet chocolate you have, as its flavor carries the show. In my book, the darker the chocolate, the better, so I used a 72% cacao bar.

I am spoiled by my roommate's little automatic milk frother, but an immersion blender or regular blender will work just fine.

The perfect accompaniment to a cozy chair and a novel.

Dreamy Hot Chocolate

Adapted from Orangette

(Serves 2)

1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 1/2 tbsp. water
1 1/2 tbsp. granulated sugar
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, water and sugar. Place over medium heat and whisk occasionally until the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture just to a boil.
2. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the chocolate.
3. Blend the mixture. If you have an immersion blender, do this directly in the saucepan; if not, transfer it to a traditional blender. Either way, blend for 1 minute (on high speed, if using a traditional blender -- and be careful, as hot liquids expand when blended). The finished mixture should be very smooth and frothy. Don’t be tempted to forgo the blending step -- the texture that it creates is key.
4. Serve immediately.

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