Saturday, February 21, 2009

Caramelized White Hot Chocolate

Refreshing Beverage of the Week
My dear friend and baking mentor Susan Purdy sent me this recipe I just had to try for a caramelized white hot chocolate drink. "That’s crazy," I said, but then I tried it.

First you need to caramelize the chocolate. There are two ways to do this. Valhrona, the maker of fine chocolate, recommends placing a tray of chopped white chocolate in a 266 degree oven (now many oven dials are digital which makes this possible) for about 45 minutes or till desired brown color is achieved. In my convection oven, which is not digital, I had to play around with the temperature, using an oven thermometer and it took a bit longer to become the nice medium brown I was looking for. The recipe also states this process can be done in a pressure cooker. Simply place the chopped chocolate in a sealed bag and cook at high pressure for 30 minutes. Now you are ready to make your beverage.

7 ounces half and half
10 ounces milk
8 ounces caramelized white chocolate
1/4 teaspoon salt

Bring the milk and half and half to a simmer. Place the caramelized white chocolate, and the salt in a blender. Pour the hot milk cream mixture over chocolate and blend till smooth and frothy. Pour into festive cups and drink immediately. Of course you can throw in a shot of rum or scotch if you so desire!