First of all the art of making an excellent hot chocolate is simple, so it surprised me when the French café/bakery/self-proclaimed-gourmet-eatery by my work was out. A blind elephant could figure it out. So I’m sitting here pissed off that I’m drinking Second Cup’s too sweet hot chocolate with one of their cardboard chocolate chip cookies, when what I wanted was a real freaking hot chocolate and a cookie pie. Freshly baked. It’s not hard people. Milk. Cocoa. Sugar. Seriously people. Not hard. If you like the sickly sweet bullshit Starbucks palms off as hot chocolate, you can walk away now. Seriously, fuck off. If you like creepy shit that has those weird inflatable marshmallows in it for MORE than just sentimental kitsch, you can also take a hike.
Piss-easy hot chocolate for one:
1) Heat 1.5 cups of milk (don’t boil it, it’ll taste like shit) – any kind, homo if 3.5% fat doesn’t scare you, skim if it does. Or maybe you fall somewhere in the middle. Who cares!
2) Add two tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa – once again any kind! The better the cocoa, the better the hot chocolate. But I’ve never found a cocoa I didn’t like, and that includes that yellow label no name stuff. It’s fine people.
3) Add some sugar. I like 0.5-1 tablespoons. If you are an insane sugar maniac add more. It’s up to you! It’s your hot chocolate! Go crazy!
Now I’m not quite sure where EVERY SINGLE COFFEE SHOP EVER goes wrong. But they do. There’s all sorts of weird ass shit, and edible oil products, and crazy-ass chemicals added in. For fun! Just cos! It makes it taste, um, shittier? I have no idea. But there you go. Apparently pre-mixing some cocoa and sugar to stir in with milk is TOO COMPLICATED. Idiots.
Slightly more complicated but vastly more delicious hot chocolate:
1) Grate or chop into messes a hunk of dark chocolate – any brand! And how much is up to you, you’re probably not that stupid, figure it out.
2) Heat milk (don’t boil it, it’ll taste like shit) – I like 1.5cups for my hot chocolates. You go crazy wild with however much you like! Knock yourself out!
3) In a mug pour heated milk over grated chocolate. Wait. Stir so that everything is brown and melted and liquidy and delicious. Drink it.
Complicated I know.
The best hot chocolate I ever had was in a bar in Antwerp. Old Flemish men were smoking cigarettes and drinking beer, and I was saddled up at the bar enjoying the most delicious hot chocolate my lips had ever touched. It was made with melted, dark, Belgian chocolate and whole milk, topped with unsweetened whipped cream, drizzled with honey, then sprinkled with cinnamon, with a complimentary sugar cookie on the side. THAT my friends is how you make and serve hot chocolate.
I know it sounds fancy, but it’s not. The best things are simple, in the way that they are made from the same ingredients my great-grandmother would know what to do with. Not this creepy eight-syllable processed crap that we now consume instead.
GET IT RIGHT.