Hot chocolate's always been really fascinating to me. All those stories about late night adventures ending around a steaming hot cuppa hot chocolate, not forgetting the marshmallow and whipped cream toppings. That life seems so far away from the homework-ridden boring ones we have right here. Maybe that's why.
Not that we don't have our own version of the drink. Every Singaporean's familiar with Milo, the malted chocolate drink that was a staple in our childhood breakfasts. Still, knowing that Milo wasn't real hot chocolate made me crave that warm fireplace experience.
The "chocolate" in "Hot Chocolate" means it's not in itself a very healthy drink. But many recipes I've found makes it even worse with the use of copius amounts of cream and occasionally starch.
I've found David Lebovitz's recipe to be my favourite, being relatively healthier, and featuring simply good old chocolate and milk. I love how versatile it is too. Cook it for a shorter time if you like something milkier and thinner; or cook it longer for a really thick consistency. Use darker chocolate if you want something thicker; or milk chocolate if sweeter's your thing. The simple recipe makes it really really flexible. Following the recipe word for word will result in a strong, intensely dark and thick hot chocolate. Much alike that sold at the famed Angelina.
As much as marshmallows and whipped cream sounds (and looks) amazing, I'm happy with a simple, honest, chocolatey cuppa.
Hot Chocolate (makes 4-6 cups)
Recipe from David Lebovitz’s book: The Sweet Life In Paris
2 cups (500ml) whole or low-fat milk (I used non-fat)
140g semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
Pinch of coarse salt
1. In a medium saucepan, warm the milk, chocolate, and salt. Heat until it begins to boil.
2. Lower the heat to the barest simmer and cook the mixture, whisking frequently, for 3 minutes. If you want a thicker consistency, cook it another 1-2 minutes.