Dark, Rich Hot Chocolate

This past week, evening temperatures dropped below freezing again, and the earthy, damp smells of spring that had been creeping in with the warmer air and longer days were suddenly replaced with the smell of burning firewood.  For a moment, it made me think that winter was just around the corner, and I got really confused.  I also found myself suddenly wishing for a mug of hot chocolate.

So, even though we’re well into spring, here’s one last wintery post.

IMG_8392

Random picture of an empty cup and saucer because I forgot to take a real picture, and a post cannot be posted without a picture.

Not long ago, I made too much ganache for a cake and stuck the leftovers in the fridge, confident it would eventually be consumed.  I was right.  I drank it.  All of it.

Back when I used to work right by Flour,* I was a hot chocolate regular. Come to think of it, even after I started working somewhere else, I still found excuses to be in the neighborhood and to – oh, what do we have here? –  grab a cup.  And a pastry or three.  One day, I actually tried to pay attention to how they prepared it and noticed that the person had his arm in a white bucket.  When his hand emerged, it was holding a heaping spoon of deep, velvety something – dark chocolate ganache?  He dumped it into the steaming milk, proceeded to stir vigorously with brows furrowed, and…that was it.  That was it?

I have no idea if simple chocolate ganache is all Flour puts in its smooth, rich beverage. I like to think that they add a little extra something to the ganache.  But who knows.

Anyway, now that I don’t have as much occasion to frequent the city, this does a pretty good job of filling the little hot chocolate-shaped void in my heart.

* One day, I will write a post that does not mention Flour.  One day.

Hot Chocolate
Inspired by Flour Bakery
Yields one 8-10 oz. cup

Ingredients
8-10 ounces milk (whatever fat content you like)
1-2 Tbsp. chocolate ganache, or to taste (I like to make mine dark with Ghiradelli bittersweet (60%) chocolate chips.  If you prefer something less intense, use milk chocolate or semi-sweet).
tiny pinch of salt (optional)

Directions
1.  Heat milk until hot (stove or microwave).  The hotter the milk, the easier the ganache will mix in.
2.  Stir in ganache.
3.  Add a tiny bit of salt if you want.
4.  Drink!

Variations:

  • Chocolate can be directly added to milk too.  I feel it doesn’t seem to incorporate into the milk as smoothly, but maybe I’m imagining things.
  • Add a generous spoonful of salted caramel sauce for salted caramel hot chocolate
  • Add cinnamon, nutmeg and cayenne (or chile powder) for mexican hot chocolate
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