I think I lost all sense of time management at Christmas this year. I made almost all the gifts I gave to the adults in the family and hosted my parents Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with my in-laws arriving in the late afternoon for a big turkey dinner. Keep in mind that we had to go to Barrie from the 21st to the 23rd for my husband’s dad’s Christmas dinner. This naturally took a huge chunk of time I had available to me to get everything ready for the big day. It made perfect sense to my frantic, yet over-achieving self, that I add another homemade gift to my list of things to do on the evening of the 23rd. I made marshmallows. I’m still shaking my head at my stupidity but my nieces loved them. I created a stressful situation for myself and it did take away some of my enjoyment of the holiday.
After Christmas I had an excess of marshmallows (I followed the recipe on Under the High Chair ) and the best thing for marshmallows is hot chocolate. With some leftover good quality chocolate from the truffles that I made as gifts at Christmas, I applied the same principles to truffle making. When the ganache was created (ie. chocolate melted with cream) I added enough milk to make a rich but not totally over the top hot chocolate.
I used a double boiler, which for me meant a large glass bowl set over a much smaller pot with and inch and a half of simmering water in it. The key is that the bowl has to be large enough so that when it is sitting on the pot the bottom of the bowl is not in any danger of touching the water. A simpler way to melt the chocolate would be to microwave it with the cream and melt it slowly. I like having control over the heat and being able to keep an eye on what is happening to the chocolate.
If you want the hot chocolate to be rich and smooth without little tiny chocolate bits in it you can not use anything less than cream to melt with the chocolate. If you just melt the chocolate and add milk, you will not get a smooth consistency. The chocolate needs to bond with the fat in the cream and from there you can add less rich liquids.
My husband loves incredibly rich desserts but for me a small mug of this is more than enough so don’t worry about the fat. Just enjoy it. Besides, in my opinion the sugary powdered hot chocolate mixes are far worse for you than this hot chocolate since those mixes are just mildly chocolate flavoured sugar and it is too much sugar that makes people fat. Oh, and this hot chocolate is perfect with Bailey’s Irish Cream and/or Kahlua.
We gave a little cup of this hot chocolate to Timothy and he loved it. The ever so intelligent boy announced that it is ‘Chocolate Hot Chocolate’. He hasn’t had hot chocolate very much but he could tell the difference.
I used Callebaut 53.8% Chocolate Callets (chips) for this recipe. My source is the Vanilla Food Company that has great prices on excellent chocolate. If you aren’t inclined to spend the money on really good chocolate for a mug of hot chocolate go ahead and use regular chocolate chips. I haven’t tried it myself, but I’m sure it would be delicious.
- 1 cup 53% Cocoa Solids Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips* (or higher percentage)
- ½ cup whipping cream
- 1½ cup whole milk
- optional additions: Bourbon, Kahlua or Bailey’s Irish cream
- Create a double boiler using a heat-proof bowl (glass or stainless steel) set over a smaller pot with an inch or two of hot water on the stove on a medium-low heat. Make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Melt the chocolate with the cream in the bowl part of the double boiler. If the water starts to steam a lot then remove the pot from the heat so that the water can cool down.
- Stir often to mix the melting chocolate with the cream.
- When the chocolate is completely melted, slowly whisk in the milk.
- When the milk is incorporated you can continue to heat the hot chocolate in the double boiler or you can transfer it to another pot to heat it up a little quicker. If you transfer it make sure you use a medium-low heat and stir it often. It could scorch very quickly. Don’t let it come to the boil.
- When it starts to steam slightly and is hot enough for your tastes then serve in mugs with lots of marshmallows or whipped cream.
February 3, 2013