Monday, March 3, 2014

Sipping Chocolate

I'm stuck inside during a snow March! Plus I have to telework, so no adult snow day for me....What is this world coming to?!  How do I turn a cold day working into a comforting day indoors? Sipping Chocolate!

I first learned the difference between my childhood hot cocoa and sipping chocolate when I went to Angelina Cafe in Paris, France back in 2010. Seriously, if you are ever in Paris, go to this place and wait in the 40 minute line to get a table. Please just trust me on this one.

When I think of typical hot chocolate, I think of the little powder packet from Swiss Miss. The difference between typical hot chocolate and Angelina's "sipping chocolate" is the consistency and amount of sugar. Angelina's is like drinking a chocolate bar. But not just any sugary, overly-sweet Hershey bar. I'm talking rich dark chocolate. Belgian dark chocolate. Ok, well, it was probably French dark chocolate, but go with me here! Sipping chocolate has a thicker consistency than it's Swiss Miss counterpart, so think thicker than a latte, but thinner than chocolate sauce that you would put on an ice cream sundae. When you take your first sip, it's like drinking directly from Willy Wonka's decadent chocolate waterfall that's flowing from an airy chocolate cloud...

Ahem. Now that my obsession is evident, it's time to dig into making some sipping chocolate at home. The key to a good sipping chocolate is high quality chocolate, milk, and vanilla extract. That is it. No sugar. No powder. The point isn't to have a sweet drink but a rich, velvety chocolate experience.

To make a single serving...
  • First pour a mug 3/4 full of the milk of your choice (I use vanilla almond milk).
  • Next add 1/8 of a capful of vanilla extract (aka, more than a few drops, but less than a teaspoon). 
  • Finally add chocolate. I used 1.5 handfuls of Trader Joe's semi-sweet chocolate chips. The amount of chocolate you add is completely up to you! I like mine pretty rich, so for your first try, start with 1 handful of chocolate, then add more as your tastebuds prefer.
  • Stir the ingredients together over medium heat with a whisk until the chocolate has dissolved into the milk and it's heated to your preferred temperature (around 5-8 minutes). Please do not heat this on high heat because you will scorch the milk and potentially burn the chocolate.

That's it! Of course I'm a purist so I drink this as is, but if you want to mix things up add whipped cream, cinnamon, chili powder for some kick, or whatever else your tastebuds may demand!