It’s snowing in Chicago. I think snow makes people lazy. Eric and I slept till noon today, which he usually doesn’t like to do. Personally, I have no problem sleeping way past noon, snow or no snow. It’s a gift. If only I could teach it. After a slow drive home through snowy streets I decided that today was a perfect day for a big mug of homemade hot chocolate.
This recipe is sort of like the bechamel of hot chocolate. It’s very basic and you can add tons of different things to make whatever kind of crazy hot chocolate you’re in the mood for. It is simply 2 cups milk to 4 oz. chopped chocolate. You can use whatever kind of chocolate you want and whatever kind of milk you want. I opted for nonfat milk and semisweet chocolate. Because that’s what I had. Heat the milk in a saucepan till hot but not boiling. Remove from heat and throw in your chocolate and whatever else you want. I added a half teaspoon of vanilla and about a teaspoon of cinnamon. Whisk to melt chocolate and combine.
After that you can tweak it as you see fit. I ended up throwing in some white chocolate chips and a sprinkle of instant coffee powder to add more dimension. And I like to finish my hot chocolate with some cold milk so I don’t have to wait for it to cool down. Today I used cold vanilla soy milk, which just added another layer of flavor. Sort of a strange mix of things, I know, but it was amazing. Topped it all with some fresh whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Best hot chocolate ever.
Think of the things you could add to this: peppermint, almond, orange or raspberry extracts instead of vanilla. You could throw in a candy cane or a little cayenne for a kick. Bailey’s, Kahlua, Grand Marnier! I’m telling you, the possibilities are endless.
On a separate note, this Monday I’m finally starting my pastry program at Kendall College. Check out my sweet jacket.
I had orientation on Wednesday and now I’m full of a strange mix of excitement and nervousness. Did you know that the new Iron Chef Jose Garces is a Kendall grad? No pressure! But I’m really stoked to go to school for something I’m so passionate about, and to be a part of such a prestigious group of people. This place is intense. Just take a look at my baking kit.
It weighs at least 25 pounds. For serious. Good thing I work out.
So wish me luck for Monday, and try that hot chocolate. It’s awesome. Cheers!