Wednesday, February 27, 2008

On Hot Chocolate and Cold Weather, #2.

In our home, after a day in the snow, that day ended with mom's hot chocolate. Whole milk, cocoa powder, sugar and heat. That's it, but that was enough, because chocolate goes well with a lot of things, and it goes perfectly with milk. The combination of chocolate's bitter sweetness and milk's smooth sweetness blends nicely when warmed, especially on a cold day.

Before I give my mother's short list of ingredients, I should say that there are easy ways to complicate or over-simplify this. You can buy quality chocolate bars, chip them, melt them, mix them with hot water and then milk, or oversimplify and do the microwave thing. The first is too much trouble the second doesn't taste right. Here's what you need:

Fresh whole milk
Chocolate cocoa powder
Good, heat conducting pot

Measurements are more difficult because of taste. My suggestion for the average Hershey's type cocoa powder is a tablespoon of powder and a tablespoon of sugar for every cup of milk. I like one tablespoon, you might like 1.5 or two. The instructions are as easy as the ingredients:

1. Warm milk slowly but steadily until it is very hot but not boiling.
2. Add a little warm milk to the dry ingredients stir until shiny.
3. Add the chocolate mix in the warm milk.

Takes about 5 minutes, but you do have to stand there and stir, almost continuously, until just too hot to drink. Do not boil the milk.

Pour carefully into a warm mug. If you want to top it off with little marshmallows, that's okay, but even better is the old fashioned marshmallow whip -- hey, at this point who's counting calories.

Finally, what I loved in addition to this was buttered toast. Have you ever dipped a piece of crispy buttered toast into a cup of hot chocolate? Low cal it's not but it sure tastes good.

No comments: