I don't consume a lot of hot chocolate. I'm an espresso addict and that's my go-to drink of choice. A cappuccino always in the a.m. and sometimes, in the afternoon, an espresso con panna; espresso topped with a dollop of thickened, heavy cream. I usually don't think about making hot chocolate until it's cold outside and I have some homemade marshmallows on hand. But my feelings about drinking hot chocolate regularly have just changed dramatically.
When I returned from Paris this fall, I started watching, I'll Have What Phil's Having, on PBS. I became hooked on the series where Phil Rosenthal showcases (humorously) the food scene of various locations around the world. Not long after I returned from Paris, Phil was in Paris. The episode began with Phil stopping at Angelina on Rue de Rivoli for a Chocolat Chaud. Angelina was closed however for renovation. He continued onto Les Deux Magots on the Boulevard Saint Germain where he finally drank, what seemed to be, a remarkable Parisian hot chocolate. Several times on this recent visit I walked right past Les Deux Magots and never considered stopping to down a memorable Chocolat des Deux Magots à l'ancienne. I think I need to go back... soon...
So now. I've been thinking of nothing else but Parisian hot chocolate, and this past week I set about making what I think is the best chocolat chaud that you can mix up in your own kitchen. I ran across this recipe that was copied onto a scrap of paper (as I often do) a year or two ago. I wish I could remember who developed this amazing hot chocolate, but unfortunately I don't have a clue. Whoever it is should know that it's the best I've had. This recipe makes a good amount of drinking chocolate. Good thing is, it keeps nicely in the refrigerator for several days and can be easily reheated when you desire a treat. And I don't feel it needs any embellishments, It is absolutely perfect just the way it is.
• Chop 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate and bring 3 1/2 cups whole milk and 1/2 cup heavy cream to a low simmer over medium heat, whisking occasionally. Add chocolate, 4 teaspoons maple syrup, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt (kosher or fleur de sel). Whisk until chocolate melts, then cook while whisking for 4 minutes until smooth, creamy, and thick.
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