Hot Chocolate the Divine. This recipe comes close to a fabulous ritual drink. It will make a hot chocolate similar to Starbucks, which uses a syrup. Chocolate chips, your favorite bittersweet or semisweet morsels, makes for a lovely drinking chocolate without any fuss; you can use chopped chocolate bars as a substitute if you like. You can use soy milk or rice milk instead of the regular dairy also.
I like Cook’s Cookie Vanilla for it light floral taste from Tahitian vanilla beans in the blend. Get a can of whipped topping, such as Cool Whip (which also comes in a soy cream version now), or real vanilla-spiked whipped cream (recipe included), and top with a flourish of swirled cream. If you are crazy for the whipped cream, double the vanilla whipped cream topping and use a half pint of cold cream.
This is a microwave recipe. Making half a recipe in an over-sized 2-quart measuring cup makes for easy pouring. You can easily double this recipe and make it in two batches and keep it warm in a slow cooker. In a café, this would cost about $7 a cup..
Cookware: 3-quart Pyrex casserole dish or batter bowl
Microwave Wattage: 1,100 to 1,300
Total Cook Time: 6 to 7 minutes
Standing Time: None
Vanilla Whipped Cream
- 1 cup cold heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 (12-ounce) bags semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 5 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- Strips of orange zest, cut off 1 organic orange, or 1 1 /2 tablespoons espresso powder, optional
1. Put the cream, sugar, and vanilla in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until soft peaks are formed. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
2. Place the chocolate chips in the measuring cup or casserole dish. Pour in the milk, cream, and vanilla. Add the orange zest or espresso powder if you are flavoring your chocolate.
3. Microcook on HIGH for 6 to 9 minutes, stopping and whisking once to smooth the mixture and chocolate is melted. You want to see some steam but do not boil. Continue to microcook at 20 second intervals if necessary. Ladle into heat-proof cups and top a spoonful some of whipped cream if you like. Drink really hot.
Technique: Foamy Hot Chocolate
For the ultimate foamy chocolate that is light and airy, froth it using an immersion blender in lieu of having an espresso machine at home. This works just as good. Holding the handle, tip the measuring cup of chocolate, keeping the immersion wand just under the surface of the milk. Move the wand around as you build the chocolate foam just as though you were making froth for a cappuccino. This takes at least a minute. Pour the cups half full and then spoon the chocolate foam on top of each cup.
Excerpted from Not Your Mother’s Microwave Cookbook, by Beth Hensperger (c) used by permission from the Harvard Common Press.
Recipe and text copyright Beth Hensperger 2012
Please enjoy the recipe and make it your own. If you copy the recipe and text for internet use, please include my byline and link to my site.