From what I can gather on the travel forums online, one of the experiences visitors to France want is to have hot chocolate (chocolat chaud) in a café. The most famous is at Angelina's in Paris. They make it from scratch and although I've never had it, I've no doubt it's quite special. Nowadays, all too often, even in France, hot chocolate is just something that comes from a sachet (usually purple) and has boiling water tipped on it.
When I make it at home often I will use Poulain drinking chocolate with milk, cream and a square of dark chocolate melted into it. As a child we had Cadbury's drinking chocolate in the pantry. It was delicious, but these days drinking chocolate tends to have a minimal quantity of actual chocolate, and is padded out with artificial sweeteners and milk solids. This modern 'hot chocolate' is thin and sickly sweet.
Every now and then I like to make the real thing. Break up a block of dark chocolate and add it to a cup of milk in a saucepan with a pinch of salt, a cinnamon stick and a vanilla pod. When it is hot enough that little bubbles are appearing on the surface add 3 more cups of milk and half a cup of cream. Heat until just boiling, whisking in the chocolate. Once smooth and hot add two tablespoons of cocoa powder, whisk some more and serve. No icky squirty cream, no dusting of chocolate powder (shavings acceptable but unnecessary faff in my opinion). Likewise no sugar added. Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge and reheated as required.
Hot chocolate on the stove.
A previous post about Poulain drinking chocolate, which used to be made in Blois.
A previous post about Choky.
I'd love to taste you hot chocolate, Susan, but without cinnamon! I'm sure it is out of this world.
...your hot chocolate, of course. Sorry!
This is a subject dear to my heart. Here in the US there's a similar powdered concoction meant to be dissolved in hot water. It's vile. You need real milk, real chocolate. For one person I use a chunk of Scharffen berger chocolate in 1/4 C of milk; that's all.
Simon doesn't like the cinnamon either. All the more for me bwahahahah....
I don't know that brand of chocolate, but it sounds serious.
In Paris, they used to say that Angelina's passed the hot chocolate test: the spoon you stir with has to stand upright in the drink when you release it. Hot chocolate is to winter what "miget" is to summer - the latter in Touraine! http://jcraymond.free.fr/Gastronomie/Boissons/Miget/Miget.php
I've never seen the point of being able to stand the spoon up in something that is supposed to be a drink. And anyway, if the gif on their website is anything to go by, the chocolate pours much more freely than I would expect if you could stand a spoon up in it.
Thanks for the link to the stuff about miget. I've never heard of it. It's liquid summer pudding!
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