04 February 2014

Foodie Tuesday | Chocolat Chaud

There are few better remedies for the bone-chilling tang of deep winter than a mug full of rich, creamy hot chocolate. In fact, I'd argue there are none at all; nothing else is quite so comforting, quite so warm-you-up-from-the-inside delicious as a cup of hot, creamy chocolate.

As a born-and-bred Canadian surviving my 37th winter, I declare this to be true. There are no substitutes.

But not all hot chocolate is created equal. Store-bought varieties can be tasty, and are a good alternative if you can't get your mitts on the real thing. I used to think when I was little that hot milk with Nestle Quik (powder, not syrup!) stirred in was the height of delicious. The "real deal" as it were.

It wasn't until I was much older that I came to appreciate hot chocolate as it was meant to be: real chocolate, real milk, real cream. Real ingredients make the best hot chocolate around... so good it's fancy enough to be called chocolat chaud (because just like glasses make you look ten IQ points smarter, French makes it ten times more sophisticated - so sophisticated that I spelled out 'ten times' rather than putting it like this: 10x - because we're classy like that, you and I.)

So give your kids (or better yet, yourself) a treat this week and whip up a pot of the richest, creamiest, most decadent chocolat chaud around. Cheers to you.

Preparation: 10 minutes | Cooking Time: 20 minutes | Serves: 4
  • 2 1/2 cups 2% milk
  • 2 cups half-and-half cream
  • 6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
Cooking Directions:
  1. Combine milk and cream in a medium-sized, thick-bottomed sauce pan. Stir occasionally over medium heat until hot but not boiling (boiling will scorch the milk.)
  2. Meanwhile, roughly chop chocolate squares into small dice.
  3. When milk is hot, remove from heat and add chocolate. Whisk until melted.
  4. Return pot to burner; reduce heat to medium-low. Add sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. Whisk gently until piping hot, then serve up big mugfuls topped with whipped cream, shaved chocolate or, a favourite in our house, mini marshmallows.
Special thanks to the Girl, who served as my awsmazing model for the chocolat chaud photo shoot; those hands are perfect!