When the winter chill comes to Paris, one of the great pleasures is sipping a cup of rich hot chocolate, le chocolat chaud, in a cozy café. But no matter where you live, you can easily make and enjoy the chocolatey taste of Paris at home.
Contrary to popular belief, Parisian hot chocolate is often made with milk rather than cream, and get its luxurious richness from lots of top-quality chocolate. This cup of chocolat chaud is deeply-flavorful, but not over-the-top rich…so there’s no need to feel guilty indulging in a nice, warm cup whenever – and wherever – you feel the need.
Parisian Hot Chocolate
Four ‘Parisian-sized’ Servings
2 cups (.5l) whole milk
5 ounces (130 g) bittersweet chocolate, (best-quality), finely chopped
optional: 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1. Heat the milk in a medium-sized saucepan.
2. Once the milk is warm, whisk in the chocolate, stirring until melted and steaming hot. For a thick hot chocolate, cook at a very low boil for about 3 minutes, whisking constantly. Be careful and keep an eye on the mixture, as it may boil up a bit during the first moments.
3. Taste, and add brown sugar if desired.
Serve warm in small demitasse or coffee cups.
Note: This hot chocolate improves if made ahead and allowed to sit for a few hours. Rewarm before serving. I also like to add a few flecks of fleur de sel, the very good sea salt from Brittany.
by David Lebovitz