Categories
Chocolate Food General

How to Really Enjoy a Winter Afternoon

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When I closed my eyes and took a sip out of this cup, I sighed, actually sighed, aloud.  You know how cakes and chocolates are advertised as ‘decadent’? Well THIS was more than that; worse than that even; and better than that; it was positively depraved. The rich, thick, smooth, creamy, soft, chocolatey concoction was pure wickedness; it was indulgence, irresponsibility, a sense of loosing oneself and a wanton disregard for common sense and moderation, all swirled together into one little cup.

And as if all that wasn’t enough, I paired it with a little chocolate truffle!

Rich, creamy hot chocolate recipe

And yet, I was somehow not satisfied (this proves my argument that the hot chocolate really was evil and powerful (I mean we all know that I am a goddess of self-control and moderation (reflected as much in my eating habits as my use of language and parentheses), generally speaking, so it had to be some sort of dark magic that the chocolate wielded))! And so I sneaked over to my freezer, pulled out one of my frozen chocolate chip cookie dough portions and popped it into the oven. Eight minutes later, I added this to my little afternoon snack:

Delicious Chocolate Chunk Cookie

Yes, yes, there is a pie-sliced bit of cookie missing; but it is a long and arduous journey from my kitchen to my dining table, filled with many perils.

The long and short of it was that I spent the next 10 minutes ooohing and aahing and moaning, and being general inappropriate, while I sipped the chocolate and ate the cookie. But then again, wouldn’t you do the same before a spectacle such as this?

Best Hot Chocolate Recipe

At the end of it however, I was happy, relaxed and more energetic all at once, and ready to go back to work on my thesis here i am gleefully typing away about it.

If you’d like to try this at home, here’s what you need:

60-75 g of dark chocolate (ideally 60% cocoa content)

1/2 cup whole milk

1 teaspoon brown sugar

A pinch of ground nutmeg

A pinch of salt

1/4 teaspoon instant coffee (optional)

A stick of cinnamon

A chocolate truffle (go here for a collection of my chocolate truffle recipes)

A cookie (go here for my recipe)

Method:

Start off by throwing the chocolate into a little saucepan. Add the milk and turn on the heat to low. Using a whisk keep whipping the chocolate into the milk as it melts. Be carefully not to burn the chocolate.

How to make delicious, rich hot chocolate

Once it’s all melted and the mixture becomes thick and chocolatey, add the salt, sugar, nutmeg powder and coffee and whip it all up some more. When everything is blended, pour the mixture into a little cup. Top off with whipped cream if you like. Place the cinnamon stick in the chocolate to use as a stirrer, and serve with a truffle and/or cookie, and a good book 🙂

Oh and make sure to leave your computer somewhere where it won’t bother you, so you can focus on all the delightfulness before you.

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Categories
Chocolate Food General Recipes

A Cure for Dark Winter Afternoon Blues

I’ve been remiss again, and for this I apologize. The life of a grad student is often erratic, and various deadlines have kept me from writing about my food-related adventures. Happily, they haven’t entirely prevented me from having said adventures. So, now that I have some time again, I shall return to chronicling my chocolate and spice related capers.

Despite my happiness at having a bit more free time though, there is a cloud in my otherwise blue sky. A literal cloud, in fact, because winter has arrived, bringing with it cold, dark afternoons :(. Finally, I understand why people who live in Canada, the northern U.S and northern Europe are so obsessed with the weather. It’s actually depressing to not see or feel fuzzy, yellow sunshine for months on end. (I mentioned these places in particular, because these are the cold parts of the world that I’ve lived in. I realize of course that there are other cold places, I’ve just never lived there and so, have no idea if people there are obsessed with ‘The Weather’.)

And then suddenly, a few weeks ago, I stumbled upon a cure, a magical, instantaneous cure for winter blues, namely: hot chocolate. All you need is a few minutes in the kitchen to stir up a nice cup of hot, chocaltey richness, and you’re all set. You can curl up on your couch with a blanket and a good book, and a soft pair of socks on your feet (ideally a cat is also included in this scenario) and winter will actually seem bearable.

Don’t believe me? Just look at this:

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I’ve taken to making myself a cup every once in a while 🙂 I use homemade chocolate fudge ice-cream topping to make the hot chocolate, rather than cocoa or chocolate flakes. If you’d like to recreate this deliciousness, it’s fairly simply. Just warm up 2/3rds of a cup of milk. Then dissolve 2-3 tablespoons of homemade dark chocolate fudge into it. Here is a recipe for a velvety, homemade dark chocolate fudge that I strongly recommend; it’s super yummy and super-easy to make. (It is also delicious on ice-cream, which is what I originally made it for.)

Once you’ve dissolved the fudge, top off the hot chocolate with some whipped cream and stick a cinnamon stick into the cup:

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Finally, sprinkle some cocoa powder on the cream, and sip away! If you’ve got a cookie to go with it, more power to you. I think my next post will be about the dark-chocolate-chunk cookies that I am now about to go and bake 😛 Mmmm.

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