Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hot Chocolate, for Reals

Have you ever had hot chocolate? The good stuff? REAL hot chocolate? The amazing kind that is more pudding than beverage?

Clive and I went to Spain a few years ago. We were in Madrid for two days and went to Chocolatería San Ginés three times. (Obsessive much?) The Chocolatería San Ginés is amazing. And old - 1890. It also (nerd alert!) is mentioned in a really fantastic book - Luces de Bohemia (1924) (I mean that sincerely. I liked the book and that makes me like the chocolate even more.) In other words, this place has some history, and a lot of experience making excellent hot chocolate. And churros. Did I forget to mention the churros? They're to-die-for good. But today, I'm talking about the chocolate.
(Image from the internet)

The chocolate is so rich and so perfect for today's return to chilly, rainy weather. Today at lunch, I saw a picture of the Calle de Alcalá in Madrid at night, and it reminded me of walking down the street with friends, and later, on a different trip, with Clive. Fond memories of Madrid and friends ... and chocolate.

Hot Chocolate
This hot chocolate is no joke - it's extremely rich. This recipe will technically fill one mug, but we usually split it between the two of us. That usually ends up being a perfect amount.

1/2 c chocolate, chopped
1/2 c half and half, divided
1/4 c water
1 T cornstarch
1 t vanilla extract
1 generous tablespoon whipped cream

  1. Put 1/4 cup half and half in a pan over medium heat. Put the remainder in a small cup with the water and cornstarch and stir until the cornstarch is dissolved.
  2. Add the chocolate to the pan and heat until the chocolate is melted and incorporated with the half and half.
  3. Stir in the sugar and the half and half/cornstarch mixture and reduce the heat to low. Stir constantly for 5 minutes until the chocolate has thickened.
  4. Remove from heat and add the vanilla extract.
  5. Serve with whipped cream.

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