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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Make Your Own Hot Chocolate From Scratch

Refreshing Beverage of the Week
Do you drink hot chocolate or hot cocoa? What makes it good? Good quality chocolate and full fat dairy products. Maybe a little cinnamon, or a splash of alcohol. However you like it, making it from scratch is easy and so much better.

Procedure
In the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine 2 to 3 ounces of your favorite semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped or as chips. Add 1 measuring tablespoon each granulated sugar and good-quality Dutch process cocoa powder, as well as a few grains of salt. Cover, and process in ten second “bursts” at high speed just until finely ground (a few larger chunks of chocolate are okay). In a small, non-reactive saucepan, heat 3/4 cup whole milk plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream, or 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of water. If using the milk-cream mixture, stir frequently, preferably with a small whisk, until mixture is steaming hot (if you use water, it should be almost at a boil). Add the processed chocolate mixture. Whisk in well until dissolved and mixture is steaming hot. Serve immediately, preferably garnished with lightly sweetened whipped cream. Yields one large or two more reasonable servings.