Monday, January 10, 2011

Thick Hot Chocolate

Some of you will undoubtedly chuckle as you read this, but the big news around here is that we got 6 inches of snow last night; today everything is closed up tight and we are all snowbound.

Snow is not exactly unheard of in Atlanta, but it is always a cause for excitement. If we get more than an inch or so, we end up with a communal snow day, since the city has no plows, sanding or salting equipment. The snow sits on the streets until it melts, helped along by the inevitable rising temperatures and the cars of those intrepid souls who will brave the conditions and the other - bad - drivers on the roads. But generally, schools and businesses close, the mail does not get delivered, and folks stay home with their newly-acquired hoards of bread and milk and wait for the eventual thaw.

With every winter storm that comes our way the biggest question is whether the electricity will go out; this time we were thrilled to have our warm cozy house and full use of our kitchen, with the backdrop of winter wonderland outside the windows. Time for hot chocolate!

When I was growing up in the foothills of western Massachusetts, we would play hard, or shovel hard, in the snow, then go to the basement and in front of the furnace we'd peel off our wet snow suits, mittens and socks (two layers of each if it was really cold). Then it was time for hot chocolate, always made with milk, which we heated on top of the stove, stirring in Hershey's chocolate syrup. We drank it straight up, eschewing marshmallows big and small, and it warmed us to the tips of our frozen fingers and toes.

Today I thought I'd try a hot chocolate recipe that I bookmarked last winter, one that sounded decidedly grown up, the Thick Hot Chocolate recipe from Renee Shettler, who writes, beautifully, for Leite's Culinaria.

n.o.e.'s notes:

- The recipe for Thick Hot Chocolate is here, along with a recipe for Thin Hot Chocolate, in case you are the type who likes to taste the milk through the chocolate.

- I made 1/4 recipe, which was just enough for two full mugs of steaming hot chocolate. It's rich enough that splitting it 3 ways - if I had to - would have been fine.

- The article includes a recipe for homemade marshmallows, but since I've never liked marshmallows in hot chocolate, so it was just fine that want to take the time to make any today (although they have been on my cooking "bucket list" for a while).

- I've made hot chocolate with chocolate syrup and with cocoa poweder (and with the powdered mixes, but we won't talk about those) but never with solid chocolate. This recipe specifies finely chopped chocolate, with around 64% chocolate solids. For half of the chocolate I used a Dagoba mocha chocolate bar, and I filled in with other random bits of bittersweet chocolate that were hanging around the corners of my chocolate drawer. (The little flecks in my hot chocolate in the picture above are bits of coffee beans from the mocha chocolate that I used.)

- I forgot the fleur de sel, which is pretty funny because as I was making the hot chocolate, my husband was setting up the two salt grinders that he recently ordered after hearing about them at a party on Christmas Eve.

the verdict:

One sip of this hot chocolate and I was spoiled forever. Two sips and I realized that I needed to snap a picture quick so that you could be spoiled also!


Anonymous said...

This has definitely ruined all powdered hot chocolate for me...I'm glad you made it today.

Leslie said...

You are very generous to consider sharing this hot chocolate! It's funny how our palates change over time. I'm not sure I could stand Hershey's syrup today, but it was a favorite when I was a kid. Enjoy your snow day(s)!

Mary said...

Yum. We might have a snow day here on Wednesday..>I will have to check this out :). Nice mug too...I love that line...I always give it as gifts....

Kayte said...

I have the same childhood memories of snow, etc. growing up in NE Iowa...only my choice of drink was always hot apple cider with a some cinnamon red hots floating on top. This looks like something the guys would absolutely love on a cold winter's day and that mug is adorable!

Cathy said...

Majorly jealous that you were snowbound! We were ice bound, after days of snow hype, which was a bummer. It was kind of pitiful watching the kids try to use a box to sled on slush/ice in the backyard. I made them hot chocolate, but nothing like this, I can assure you -- this looks amazing!! Perhaps I'll try this recipe tomorrow, as we'll all be housebound again (refreezing closures) -- I have chocolate and I'm all set on milk, of course, having joined in on the requisite pre-storm milk/bread frenzy.

Sweet as Coco said...

Yum! Its funny....Michigan isn't getting the snow storms this winter. Crazy the south is getting all the snow!?

Unknown said...

I'm bookmarking this one for sure Nancy! We're expecting a major storm on Wednesday (they're talking over a foot - possibly 17 inches!) so I'm sure I won't be venturing out much other than to shovel. Love your mug, enjoy being snowbound :)

cocoa and coconut said...

I'd be so excited to experience 6 inches of snow! I know it's probably a bit of nuisance, though. I'm sure this hot chocolate will console anyone annoyed by the snowfall. It looks so thick and dreamy

Di said...

My girls are totally spoiled--I pretty much always make hot chocolate with actual chocolate. They'll have your share of the marshmallows, too. =)