December 29, 2012

Ultimate Parisan Hot chocolate — velvety and so utterly chocolaty

Nothing quite like the romance and charm of the holiday season, I must say. Most especially when it is to be followed by beautiful and exciting new beginnings, ha.

So despite the frenzy of life, and a beautiful fluttery of things, on these last few beautiful days of twenty twelve, I find myself totally, utterly, and most desperately lost in the spirit of magic and dreams. Hey, it’s a new, new year in just two days! Are you not excited ..?
And before the clock strikes midnight, I hope you are somewhere cozy, cherishing the glitter and sparkle and snowfall or rainfall, holding your loved ones close, and looking forward to the arrival of wonderful new beginnings. Here’s to a magical new year, filled with the most delightful happenings, love, peace, joy, and hope it’s astonishingly beautiful wherever in the world you are.

“I know nothing with certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream” Van Gosh.

And because it seems appropriate this time of the year, when the cocktails flow freely, and temperatures fall steeply, I’m sharing my favorite hot chocolate recipe—a wintertime staple. Thick and velvety, or, thin and frothy, whatever your preference, it’s the sort of treat you crave for during the chilly winter months.

Serve it for breakfast under the covers, elegant afternoon tea with friends, a cozy tangle on the couch, or late night sip by the fire. And suddenly there are dreams—yes dreams—of whirling away in Paris, stopping by the street-side cafes for the most delicious hot chocolate and macarons, besides many, many moments drenched in beauty and love. I'm a die-hard romantic, must confess.
In the earlier days, hot chocolate was valued as a medicine. In most recent times, we have come to recognize its antioxidant rich properties. Whatever the scenario, sipping chocolate is not just comfort and pleasure, you actually benefit from indulging in your craving. It’s like being on the good side of bad, with less guilt involved. I think of it as sinful medicine!
 
Antioxidant-loaded chocolate is the main attraction in this recipe. And trust me, it's nothing like the ubiquitous packaged instant mix version we are used to. This one’s really thick with the rich flavors of high-grade chocolate and heavy cream. Taking a sip is like feasting on warm, melted chocolate, or sipping on to chocolate fondue—but in a cup. And what is even more amazing is that it makes the perfect base for dunking anything from strawberries, apricots, churros or marshmallows to cupcakes. Yum-O!

The intoxicating aroma of warm chocolate melting away is pure joy. Feel free to mix chocolate with heavy cream or single cream depending on how decadent you’re feeling. Similarly, for milk, use any substitutions like nut, soy or rice milk. 

So here’s a little chocolate indulgence to warm you from inside out, and shine you with love, life, and loveliness …
Ultimate Parisan Hot chocolate

Ingredients
Makes: 3 cups
Cooking + Prep: 5 min

¾—1 cup milk (I used low-fat)
1 cup heavy cream (I used light double cream)
100g chocolate, broken into chunks (I used a mix of dark and milk chocolate), plus shavings
1 vanilla bean, scraped
sugar, to taste (optional)
whipped cream, to serve (optional)
Directions

Place chocolate chunks, scrapped vanilla seeds, and cream in a clean, microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for about 90 seconds or until chocolate is almost melted, stopping halfway through to stir the mixture. Remove from oven and whisk until fully melted, smooth, and creamy. Enjoy this as a fondue and dip your favorite ingredients—strawberry, mini cupcakes, small cake cubes, crisp cookies, macarons, apricot wedges, marshmallow—whatever you fancy.

Warm the milk with sugar, if using, and whisk until frothy. Pour over the chocolate cream mixture and stir to combine. For extra froth, pour the drink into a blender and very carefully blend for a few secondsremember it's hot, so handle with care. 

Pour into pre-warmed mugs and serve with a dollop of whipped cream and chocolate shavings, if you like. Even better, serve in a pitcher with tiny demitasse cups/glasses, alongside a pot of whipped cream. Heavenly!

Note: Feel free to dilute with more milk. For a spicy kick try using 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon instead of vanillaI love the warm scent of cinnamon in my drink, though my kids prefer vanilla. For topping, flavoring whipped cream with vanilla and sugar adds to the taste. If you are a marshmallow fan, tip in a few pieces into your cup and allow to melt before you sip. Or just lightly dust with cocoa and enjoy!
 
And now there’s 2012 to bid farewell to, and an even more exiting one to meet ….Happy New Year!

Lots of love.


20 comments:

  1. yummy and creamy hot chocolate
    http://great-secret-of-life.blogspot.com

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  2. As usual fantabulous clicks.. Chocolate is my thing and this definitely goes into my to-do list

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  3. wow this looks so creamy and to die for ;)

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  4. yummmmm...will try this soon :)

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  5. yummynesssssssssssss.....love it!!

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  6. I am sooooo making myself a hot chocolate today :)

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  7. Ultimate indeed!!! Super rich & creamy & ultra comforting...You can have a glassful of this sinful delight & feel good that chocolates are healthy too!!!! Have a happy new year sweets!!!
    Prathima Rao
    Prats Corner

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  8. Truly a chocolate indulgence! So rich, and I love that you don't skimp on the vanilla bean goodness.

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  9. yum yum yum no words dear........Happy New Year To U And Ur Family!!!

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  10. Hi
    First time in your space . Yummy and delicious blog. Happy to follow you.

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  11. I dont have words to say how i love hot chocolate, seriously i want a cup now.

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  12. Gorgeous photos and love this irresistible drink too!

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  13. Hi,
    Happy New Year!
    Thank you for stopping by!
    Your hot chocolate looks wonderful!

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  14. Your blog post is addictive- good job I have a stash of good chocolates lying about, as soon as I finished reading your post, I made myself a cup! And the best part, reminisce about some old trips to Paris, Champs elysee...oh la la!

    Happy NEw Year to you dearie!

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  15. Wow! looks really yum...

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  16. Happy New Year dear..
    Wow...This tempts me so much...yum...Awesome presentation and clicks..

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  17. Yum yummm.. Nashi its so nice, mouth watering in fact.. and my favorite part is Photography!! Love it

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  18. Chocolate as medicine, now that's something I can get behind.

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A million thank you's for stopping by, taking the time to connect, and coming back to visit again. I genuinely appreciate each of your kind thoughts, lovely words, love and support. Happy, happy to hear from you, and hope to see you again!

♥ Nashi