Treat Week: Drinking Chocolate

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This is the most luxurious hot chocolate. Ever. (Even Lola can’t resist a sniff) It is my favorite kind of hot chocolate- the sipping kind, also called drinking chocolate. It is thick, silky, dark, and velvety, an intoxicating beverage for sure. “Blooming” the cocoa powder in butter in the first step brings out the flavor of cocoa, so don’t skip that step. If you can’t handle the delicious thickness, the chocolate can be thinned out to taste by adding more milk.

from: Winter Cocktails (the best book for hot drinks)
serves: 4

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup natural cocoa powder
3 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
4 cups whole milk
6 ounces finely chopped bittersweet chocolate (60-70% cacao) I recommend Ghirardelli or Scharffen Berger.
pinch salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

optional: 6 ounces Chambord or crème de cassis, homemade marshmallows, or whipped cream for serving

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and brown sugar and whisk until a paste forms, about 15 seconds. Slowly add milk, whisking constantly. Cook milk until steaming, but not simmering, over medium-high heat and then reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in chocolate and salt and cook, stirring, until chocolate is completely melted. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Serve in warm mugs and spike each mug with 1 1/2 ounces liqueur if desired. Top with marshmallows or whipped cream if so inclined. Take my word for it though, it’s quite delicious by itself and doesn’t need any embellishments.

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