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Parisian Hot Chocolate {Cook}

Paris is lovely for an infinite number of reasons, not the least of which is its charming cafes and rich food.  I’m not sure what it is, but everything – and I mean EVERYTHING – tastes better when you’re eating it at a French cafe, but I feel like this isn’t too surprising!  I have been dreaming of Paris since I took last year, and this is one aspect that has really stuck with me.  In Paris, and I think Europe in general, the ‘cafe culture’ is as much about the experience as it is the fare, and taking some time out of your day to enjoy the sights and sounds of a cafe is really something that totally I wish I did more of.  This kind of thing makes me calmer and helps me think clearer in the midst of those crazy days that come all too often.  Paired with a sweet treat, well, that’s my idea of a little piece of heaven!  This hot chocolate is really the MOST decadent thing you can imagine.  Thick and creamy and intensely chocolate-y, you’re immediately transported to that small Paris cafe from which this was inspired.  This chocolat chaud was certainly a highlight of my Paris trip, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since!  The Swiss Miss that we’ve been used to since we were kids isn’t even in the same galaxy as Angelina’s ‘le chocolate chaud,’ and visiting this Paris cafe is an experience that truly stays with you, and being able to sort-of replicate it here {again..everything tastes better in a Paris cafe!} is just enough to hold me over until I go back, which is hopefully very soon!

*and paired with homemade marshmallows – for a bit of an ‘American’ touch – it’d venture to say it’s pretty much the best thing ever!

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cups whole milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon granulated sugar {I love turbinado sugar}

1 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder {optional}

8 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate, at least 70% cacao {use the bar chocolate, not chips.  my favorite is Ghirardelli}

Marshmallows {recipe HERE!!} or whipped cream for serving

DIRECTIONS

Whisk the whole milk, heavy cream, powdered sugar, and espresso powder in a medium saucepan, and keep on medium heat until small bubbles appear around the edges.  Do not boil.

Remove saucepan from heat and stir in the chopped chocolate until it is melted.  It should melt after a few minutes, but you can put the pan back onto low heat if necessary for the chocolate to melt completely.  Serve right away, topped with whipped cream or marshmallows!

Image: Krista Brackin Photography; recipe adapted from several Angelina replications, including this one from Well Plated – that espresso powder really is the magic touch!!  



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