We finally got a halfway worth-while blizzard in Denver (and I continued my unbeaten streak of showing up to work on days we close).
On the way home from work yesterday, in a break from the storm, I got a horrible urge for hot chocolate.
But it went a couple of steps past that. I wanted real
hot chocolate. Not some pansy-assed powder mixed with a hot liquid.
THe problem was... I've never made it. However, after watching a bunch of my cooking shows dealing with chocolate, I figured I could wing it.
So wing I did.
I picked up a package of Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chips
, as well as a package of Reeses' Peanut Butter Chips
, a quart of heavy whipping cream, and a cheapoid package of store brand mini-marshmallows.
I got home and realized... I don't have a double-boiler
. Also, I don't have anything to *make* a double-boiler. Dammit.
So, I thought it through. The whole point of a double-boiler is to keep a constant temperature that will never go higher than the boiling point of water.
Hmmm. If only I had a kitchen appliance that would maintain a given temperature...
Aha! The oven! So dug out my only piece of high-end cookware
and set the oven to 190.
Inside the pot, I put both packages of chips. Remembering that you need a bit of fat in order to keep chocolate smooth when melting, I put in a quarter-cup of unsalted butter. Wanting to as a bit more sweet without adding granulated sugar, I also put in about a half-cup of the marshmallows.
Put the lid on and shoved it in the oven.
At first, I was checking it about every three minutes. This got old after the third time, so I decided to trust my oven to not catch on fire or burn the chocolate, and stayed out of the kitchen for a half hour.
What I had was a thick, glorious chocolate foundue after I wisked it throughly. I dumped in a tablespoon or so of vanilla. I don't know why, but if you ever really want to make the taste of chocolate POP, you use vanilla. This is why they used a vanilla sauce for chocolate soufles.
Next, I wisked about a third of the heavy cream, and then put it back in the oven to reach temperature. After 10 minutes or so, I wisked the second third, and 10 minutes after that, the final third.
What I had after that was something you could drink, but it was so thick, rich, and heavy, you wouldn't want to drink much. So I added another quart and a half-ish of the 1% milk we have.
I wisked the new mixture, turned the heat up to about 200(212 is the boiling point for water at sea level, and it's 201-ish at the altitude I live at) and left it in the oven between servings.
It was still pretty damn rich. Roomie and I each only had one huge mug, about 16-18 ounces.
I tried saving it, and this morning in the fridge, the drink's consistancy was somewhere between pudding and motor oil. However, I was also an idiot and didn't pour it in a shallow pan for proper cooling - I just put it in a pitcher, so the outside cooled quickly, and the inside stayed hotter longer, and curdled. :( I really do know better, but I certainly wasn't thinking.
- It was pretty pricy for two large mugs. This is definately something I'd only make for a larger group of folks.
- I used the peanut butter chips to try to get a nutty thing going. This was a complete failure. The super-heavy bittersweet chocolate pretty much pwned the flavor, so the PB chips just added some sweetness to it.
- I'd like to try some different types of chocolate. I suppose I should do some research.
- I also had another thought. Instead of butter, you could use a pepper-infused olive oil and get a little bit of xocolātl action going. I suppose you could also mix just about any finely ground spice if you wanted to. The idea of Garlic Hot Chocolate kinda makes me go "Hmmm."
- Also had another thought. I might try the above steps up to the adding of the dairy, and see how it keeps. That way, I could just take out a spoonful or two, stir it into hot milk, and have it as needed.
All and all, I rate my experiment as a success. Now, later today, I'm making some Beer-cheese soup. And, no, I don't have a recipe for this, either. Just going to start tossing stuff around the kitchen and see what comes out. :)