For Chocolate Lovers only

Brandied Hot White Chocolate

Tips: Historically, March has plenty of blustery, cold days, so here’s a dessert drink to help keep you warm. Be sure to start with best-quality white chocolate (look for it to have a creamy, yellowish cast, and cocoa butter as one of the first couple of ingredients). Because even good white chocolate can be stubborn about melting, you might want to start this recipe in a small food processor. Chop the chocolate finely and place it in your workbowl with the salt, add the hot cream, and allow to stand for a minute. Process at high speed for a few seconds, scrape down your workbowl, then cover and process again just until smooth. Scrape the white chocolate mixture into a heatproof bowl or cup as directed, and continue with the recipe.

You can substitute a good dark rum for the brandy quite successfully—or leave the alcohol out entirely and substitute a teaspoon or so of vanilla. This is best served in clear or dark-colored mugs; you’ll need mugs with a capacity of about 10 ounces, and it’s helpful if your mugs are microwaveable.


  • 3 ounces best-quality white chocolate, very finely chopped
  • Few grains salt
  • 1/3 cup very hot heavy cream
  • 1-1/4 cups hot whole milk
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp. good-quality brandy

Optional Garnishes

  • Lightly sweetened whipped cream
  • Pinch or two of freshly-grated nutmeg

See recipe introduction to start this in a food processor. Otherwise, in a 4-cup heatproof, microwaveable liquid measure or similarly-sized heatproof, microwaveable bowl, preferably with a pouring spout, combine chocolate and salt. Add about half of hot cream. Allow to stand for a minute, then whisk until very smooth. Gradually whisk in remaining hot cream.

Gradually stir in hot milk. If mugs are microwaveable, divide mixture evenly among mugs, then microwave in mugs at 100% (high) power briefly, until very hot. If mugs are not microwaveable, heat mixture in bowl in microwave at 100% (high) power until very hot; divide evenly among mugs. Divide brandy evenly among mugs.

If desired, garnish with whipped cream and freshly-grated nutmeg. Serve immediately!

Yield: 2 servings

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