As the sun set, I looked at Suzen. “Walk more?” I asked. I got the answer I hoped for.
“Good God, no. Back to the room.” She shivered in the cold. We were exploring Lake Placid last week, expecting to find mountains of snow. Like most of the Northeast, the weather had been warm and there was very little snow. Until our afternoon arrival.
A frigid front came down as we drove up. With the wind, the chill factor was over -20⁰F, that’s below zero.
“Thank God it doesn’t get this cold in New York City,” I said.
“Oh, yeah,” Suzen said reassuringly.
We are back in New York City. The chill factor is a balmy 14⁰F. That’s a 34⁰ shift but I’ll tell you: it’s just plain cold.
On a day like this, you need reinforcement. I know that picture above might seem distorted, but the fact is this recipe gives you the thickest, strongest hot chocolate I’ve ever tasted. It’s part beverage, part mousse. I added some whipped cream, of course, on top just to mellow the very deep and intense flavor.
This recipe is from Hot Chocolate by Fred Thompson. It’s a wonderful book, filled with recipes from around the world. You’ll find a recipe for just about every climate and weather condition. If you have to think about the day’s chill factor, then this Espresso idea is as good as any coat you possess. [As long as you stay indoors!]
Espresso Hot Chocolate
Yield: serves 4
- ½ cup heavy cram
- ½ cup whole milk
- 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, at least 70% cocoa, chopped
Bring the cream and milk to a simmer in a small heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat and quickly add the chocolate, stirring until melted and very smooth. Return to medium-low heat and warm until a bubble or two forms on the surface, about 3 minutes.
Pour the hot chocolate into 4 demitasse cups and serve immediately.
Source: Hot Chocolate by Fred Thompson
Hot chocolate. I am an addict. For me, an appropriate 12-step program would be how to combine 12 types of chocolate while making my hot chocolate. There are other ingredients, of course, like sugar. You cannot make hot chocolate without sugar. It’s not possible.
Actually, it is. From the website delish.com, here is a recipe for hot chocolate from Bouchon Bakery. Located in New York City in the Time Warner Center on the food floor, Bouchon Bakery is a sort of heaven. If you were a bank robber, and could just saunter into an open vault filled with money — nice, new crisp bills — well, you’d be thrilled. Stand in line at Bouchon and look at the perfectly executed pastries and cookies, and the thrill is there. Every item is flawless. It’s Paris at Columbus Circle.
And then there’s this hot chocolate recipe. No sugar. Instead, crushed and toasted coriander seeds along with a cinnamon stick. I must say, I looked at this recipe, pondered these ingredients and the technique, and just had to wonder: how could this taste like hot chocolate.
Well, it does, deliciously. You don’t miss the sugar at all! The coriander flavor is muted. There are cinnamon overtones that just give you an aromatic quality without conflicting with the chocolate. This is a very different style of hot chocolate but one you should try. You are sure to enjoy it.
Okay, in the interest of full disclosure, I did serve it with whipped cream that had sugar but that’s just Step 7 of my current program. If I didn’t do it, my sponsor would have been all over me.
Bouchon Bakery Hot Chocolate
- 8 ½ ounces whole milk
- 1 ounce heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ½ vanilla bean
- 1 tablespoon cocoa
- 1 ½ ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 ½ ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
Place the chopped chocolates into a metal bowl with room to eventually add the milk and to be able to stir.
Place the milk and cream in a saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer.
Smash the coriander seeds and toast with the cinnamon stick in a hot pan until fragrant. Add these spices to the hot milk and allow to steep for 2 minutes.
Scrape the vanilla bean and add to the milk mixture. Stir in the cocoa powder and whisk to combine.
Strain the milk mixture over the chopped chocolate. Whisk well until the chocolate is melted. Strain one more time and serve.
Source: Adapted from delish.com