My Halloween pumpkin has made its way to the compost bin. Leaves are ankle deep and waiting to be raked. I’ve experienced the first hard frost when I didn’t yet have an ice scraper in my car, which is an annual tradition. Hot chocolate weather is here!
If you’re reading this, your taste in hot chocolate may no longer include powders that come in envelopes. But you may not know how to make a top-quality cup of yumminess yourself.
You are about to see the best of the best of hot chocolate recipes. Of course one key to success is using the best chocolate, like Tangle Chocolate’s Hot Chocolate. Another is the use of a full fat milk—there is a noticeable difference in the taste, and it doesn’t mean you will be consuming vast amounts of calories. This hot chocolate is so rich that a small serving of 5 ounces or so is more than enough. In fact, I would be greatly surprised if anyone could consume a 16-ounce full recipe’s worth!
If you don’t want to use dairy milk, try your favorite oat milk. Its texture is superior to that of soy, almond, or cashew milk for this recipe.
A final trick that you might want to try is to use hot water in addition to hot milk. It cuts the amount of total fat in this heavenly treat, and it also helps the hot chocolate hold the proper thickness if it’s not going to be consumed right away. The recipe on Tangle's Hot Chocolate tin calls for 100% milk; this is assuming that the steamy goodness is being made to drink on the spot.
Once I had hot chocolate at a restaurant next to the Louvre in Paris that is famous for its hot chocolate, and it was so thick that it practically didn’t drip off the spoon. I don't know if the thickness was intentional or not, but to me, it was kind of gross. The reason it was so viscous is that the hot chocolate was probably made early that morning. Real hot chocolate, meaning that made with real chocolate instead of cocoa powder, thickens over time if it’s kept warm on the stove or in a thermal container; that’s just what the cocoa butter in the chocolate does. By cutting the fat with some water, this problem is avoided.
Best, Richest, Real Hot Chocolate Recipe
Makes 16 ounces, plenty for 3 servings because it’s so rich!
1/2 cup (4 ounces) top quality 70% cacao chocolate
1/2 cup warm water
1 1/2 cups warm whole milk
1 T plus 1 t sugar
1. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. If you're not using Tangle's chocolate that is already in small pieces, chop or grate it up first if you want to hasten the melting.
2. Gradually whisk in the water until completely smooth. The mixture will get thick before it thins back out, like when you make a roux.
3. Gradually whisk in the milk until completely smooth.
4. Add sugar and stir until no grains remain.
5. When it’s steaming, pour it into your favorite small mugs and prepare to swoon. Tangle’s 6-ounce mugs that come in our Hot Chocolate Gift Set (and are hand built by my friend and local potter Immer Cook) are the perfect size. If you don’t have these, try an espresso cup or similar small mug.