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French Hot Chocolate (beverage)

Recipe: French Hot Chocolate (beverage)

Remarks:

    Enjoy the delicacy of a beautifully rich hot chocolate made with French ganache. This recipe is just like the one used at the Ritz Carlton in Chicago, so you can be assured it's good and rich.

Ingredients:

    2 cups whipping cream

    10 ounces of your favorite dark chocolate (If you want to "be French," you'd use one like Vahlrona. If that's not available, you can always use Ghirardelli or--a favorite of mine--the Sharffen Berger chocolate. In any case, splurge on the quality of chocolate.)

    4-1/2 cups whole milk

Instructions:

    To make the ganache "syrup":

    Dice your chocolate into little bits. Heat the cream in a medium-sized saucepan on Medium High just until large bubbles start to form on the outside of the pan. You don?t want the cream to boil over, just get really hot and on the edge of boiling.

    Turn off the heat. Add your chocolate and stir until it's completely incorporated. This is best done with a whisk. You should have really shiny, dark chocolate syrup.

    To make a pot of hot chocolate:

    Heat the milk in a large saucepan on Medium. Turn the heat to low and, in a steady stream, add the 2 cups of ganache "syrup" to the hot milk, stirring constantly. When fully combined and warm, you have your hot chocolate the French way.

Serving Suggestions:

    Serve the hot chocolate it in large mugs or even grandma's antique cocoa cups. Set up a tray with all of your garnishing goodies and maybe even some chocolate whipped cream. Yes, there are mini-marshmallows, but you can also add nutmeg or cinnamon on top. You can stir your hot chocolate with a long barquillos cookie. You can have gourmet cookies on the side that you picked up at your local bakery. And for St. Patrick's Day, you can add a drizzle of crème de menthe or peppermint liqueur.

Enjoy!

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