Liquid Decadence (Bittersweet Hot Chocolate)
Yield: Generous 2 cups, 4 to 6 servings
Tips: Once you look at the ingredient list, the name doesn't
require much explanation! This is a thickish drink with a great
depth of chocolate flavor. The sweetness, smoothness, and viscosity
of this will depend largely on the chocolate you use; I made this
both with Droste and Merckens bittersweet, and the difference was
amazing. The Droste hot chocolate was so thick I had to add a bit
of additional hot milk to achieve a drinking consistency; it was
also rather sweeter. Whatever you use for chocolate, please make
it the best quality you can find. If you like, you can substitute
semisweet chocolate for part of the bittersweet, but recognize that
this is not meant to be a particularly sweet beverage, so adults
will probably like it more than kids will. Do not substitute milk
for the heavy cream; the end product will not be smooth, even when
a food processor is used.
Equipment: You'll need a food processor, a heat-resistant
spatula, and a fine-mesh strainer to make this, but once made
it will keep for a day or two in the refrigerator. It occurs
to me that a small amount of liqueur, put in just before serving,
might be a nice addition, but I haven't tried that. Lightly
sweetened whipped cream is not absolutely mandatory with this,
but it does improve it wonderfully. This MUST be served in small
portions, so you'll need mugs that are not enormous (a 6 ounce
mug, filled 2/3 full and garnished with whipped cream, should
be a maximum serving).
ounces best-quality bittersweet chocolate (part semisweet,
if desired), chopped
1/2 ounce best-quality unsweetened chocolate, chopped
Few grains salt
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
Optional For Serving:
Lightly sweetened whipped cream
the stovetop, set a fine-mesh strainer over a heatproof small
pitcher or liquid measuring cup of at least 2-1/2 cup capacity.
In workbowl of food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine
chopped chocolates and salt. Cover; process at high speed until
chocolate is very finely chopped.
In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat cream over low heat,
stirring occasionally, until cream comes to a simmer. Remove
from heat. Pour in a thin stream over chocolate in workbowl.
Let stand about 30 seconds, then cover and process at high speed
for 10 seconds. Remove cover; scrape down the sides of workbowl
and blade with spatula. Cover; process 10 seconds longer, or
http://starchefs.com/SweetSpot/menu.htmlcolate mixture is perfectly smooth. Scrape this
mixture into a 1 quart, heavy-bottomed, non-aluminum saucepan.
In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat milk over low heat,
stirring occasionally, until very hot. Remove from heat. Off
heat, gradually add hot milk to chocolate mixture, stirring
it in with a small whisk. When all milk has been added, scrape
pot bottom and sides with rubber spatula, and set pot over medium-low
Stir constantly (no need to beat vigorously, just stir) with
whisk, scraping pot bottom and sides occasionally with rubber
spatula. Cook and stir, making sure to get into "corners" of
pot, until mixture just comes to a boil. There may be a layer
of foam on top--OK. Boil and stir for 30 seconds; remove from
Quickly pour through strainer into pitcher or measuring cup.
There will be a thick layer of chocolate mixture left on the
bottom of the pot. If you were careful about stirring so that
the layer didn't burn, this can be scraped into the strainer
and forced through with a spoon or spatula. If necessary, whisk
the strained hot chocolate briefly to combine. Serve small portions
immediately, preferably with lightly sweetened whipped cream,
or cool briefly, then chill (covering tightly when cold) for
up to a day or two.
To reheat: Reheat only as much as you'll drink at any given
time. Scrape cold mixture into small, heavy-bottomed, non-aluminum
saucepan. Set over low heat; stir constantly until just steaming.
Alternatively, heat in microwaveable container in microwave oven
at 50% (medium) power for short intervals, stirring well after each,
until just steaming hot. Serve immediately.
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