hot chocolate

hot chocolate collage

One cold, February night last year, a rare snowstorm was closing in on us. I was worried about the power going out, and hurried to fill a quart jar with homemade hot chocolate to keep nearby. We never did lose power, but the storm proved to be a good one, with ice sticking to roads for nearly a week–a rare thing in Georgia. Around 4am, we made our way outside to experience the pristine winter wonderland before the world stirred. The yard in front of our house sweeps downhill toward the road; it was covered in at least 6 inches of snow, capped off with a thin layer of ice. All I could think was, I can launch myself face-first down that tundra, polar-bear-style, and that veneer of ice will hold. So I did, and it did. We settled in at the bottom of the hill to admire the stars and the untouched blanket of snow that spread as far as the eye could see. We appreciated the rare, peaceful silence that snow always seems to bring.

These pictures, plucked from the archives, are bringing back memories.

That heart-shaped marshmallow? One of two that made it to our mouths. There was a whole plate of them at one point. Evidence:

pink marshmallowslucy and coco in cahoots

I suspect, and this is just of course just a wild theory, that the beagle convinced the cat to push the plate to the edge of the counter, possibly off the counter completely? Lucy, who just doesn’t know when to quit, ate them all.¬†That was fun to come home to.

Then we have those very modern, very chic, white marshmallow cubes up there. The trauma stemming from the Great Marshmallow Incident of 2009 was still too fresh, too raw, for me to attempt another batch of marshmallows of my own accord. No, I had leftover marshmallow “batter” from a smore pie, so I slid it into a pan, let it set, and cut it into cubes. Then I had to make hot chocolate. Poor me. Sigh.

This recipe makes my ideal hot chocolate. It’s rich, but not thick and sludgy. It’s pure, with just four ingredients. And it’s simple to make, not demanding much more of your time than it would take using a mix.

 

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Hot Chocolate (via orangette)

makes about 4 servings

3 cups whole milk

1/4 cup water

2-4 tablespoons sugar, to taste, depending on your chocolate (I used 62% chocolate and 2 tablespoons sugar)

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

Heat milk, water, and sugar in a medium saucepan, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. Bring almost to a boil, to the point where the milk is steaming. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate. Blend. You have options. Blend using an immersion or regular blender for one minute. Whisk like a mad(wo)man. Transfer to a heat-proof jar and shake like crazy. The mixture should be very smooth and frothy.

Refrigerate any leftovers. This is just as tasty cold, straight from the fridge and well-shaken, or you can reheat it over low heat.




  • Allison C

    I hate to laugh, but I have two dogs myself and I pet sit on the side so I’m well aware of what animals are capable of. Thankfully it wasn’t any substance harmful to them. That picture is adorable…how can you stay mad when they snuggle like that?

    • Jen

      animals really are pretty crafty, but it’s impossible to stay mad at them when they’re so adorable…it’s their safety feature :)

  • That marshmallow incident would have pushed ME over the edge! I came home recently to find our dog had devoured a vegan cake. Yes, it was really honking good, but vegan cake? for a DOG? It’s not like it was coated in bacon or anything..

    Anyway, she pulled the cake pan onto our tile floor from 5 ft up and the dish shattered, pieces everywhere. I really loved that pan, too.

    For your sake I hope the plate made it.

    I must compliment you on the beauty of – not only your recipes and photographs, but your words. I could visualize every nuance of this post and truly loved it.

    You rock!

    • Jen

      aw, thanks! and sorry about your cake/pan. i really don’t get why a dog would put forth that much effort to get a vegan cake or marshmallows…mysterious creatures…

  • Christy

    Awww, a pic of Coco and cocoa! :). Anyhow, it’s quite cold and snowy. Wish we could have you here for a toasty beverage!

    • Jen

      wish i could join you!!!!!

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