As my blog is titled A Cup of English Tea if I was to describe a process it would seem logical to choose the process of making tea. Sadly, I am not an expert on teas and would rather not disappoint readers with my lack of knowledge. Instead, I will be describing the process of making hot chocolate as an alternate hot beverage.
(For anyone not in my writing class my assignment is to write about a process of doing something because we have been learning about the writing process).
The thing about hot chocolate is that I’m a bit of a snob. I can’t help it really. When I was nine years old I had the best hot chocolate in the world and since then I have spent my life trying helplessly to recreate it.
The drink that I had was in a small town called Bayonne in France. The town is renowned for its history of chocolate making. My family sat down at a small café called Chocolat Cazenave and I will never forget the warm creamy drink that was brought forth. Smooth, rich chocolate pouring over the tongue and pleasantly soothing the taste buds. It was an utter delight. I will never again taste hot chocolate the same way.
Today’s recipe of course is nowhere near as good as Bayonne’s perfection. However, it is better than the cheap Swiss Miss packets in water that anyone can make.
My recipe is only for one person and is therefore written to logically suit the needs of one person rather than a group. It would probably not be hard to modify though and double or quadruple it.
As a crazy college student I lack time to actually do anything with the stove, so the microwave works well enough.
Fill a mug with approximately 1 cup of milk (whatever kind you prefer). Or until the mug is about ¾ full (depending on size). Then proceed to heat in the microwave for 1 minute intervals (stirring in between) until it is hot.
Hot chocolate is all about rich and creamy taste so that is why I recommend milk over water. Those who stick with water are missing out.
Next take the mug and scoop in a tablespoon and a little bit extra of cocoa powder, 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of sugar, and a dash of vanilla (if you have it on hand). I also add a pinch of cinnamon for a kick when I’m in the mood. Taste to make sure the balance is fine. Add extra of any ingredient you feel is lacking. Add more milk if too strong.
Hot chocolate really is a varying thing. Depending on my taste for the day the recipe can change. However, I do like a nice rich chocolate taste more than a really sweet taste because the bitterness of the cocoa balances out the other rich tastes. Vanilla of course just makes it all the better and the cinnamon can be a nice addition as well.
Finally, to be extra indulgent place a small dollop of whipped cream on the top. Store bought is easier than making your own (even if it’s not quite as good) so to make things easier just buy a can of Ready Whip. To make it look even more beautiful sprinkle a little bit of cocoa powder on the top.
As I mentioned before, hot chocolate was originally made to be luxurious, so enjoy making it a treat. Of course I would not recommend drinking this every day or even every week, but it can be a wonderful treat on a rainy afternoon and that is why it’s so fun to go all the way with the whipped cream.
Finally, I recommend settling down with a book in front of a fireplace if you can. It makes the cocoa taste even more delicious.