Do you know where I was a couple of weeks ago for a little hedonistic jaunt to rest up from our expat life in Moldova? Of course you guessed it: Rome, Italy. The kissing cars alone should have given away it was Italy.
In case you want to know about the photos on that post: The beautiful marble floor you can find in St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, and the statue lives on Piazza Navona. The wonderful herbed pork roast in the farmers’ market makes the famous porchetta sandwich. Like Italian wines and cheeses, this pork roast also boasts “official” status as a traditional Italian food.
Although I’ve been to Italy half a dozen times or so, I’ve never been there during the winter months and so never came across the cioccolata calda, hot chocolate, which is pure decadence.
One cool afternoon I spooned empty this mug while sitting on a little terrace warmed by gas heaters in Via della Carozze near the Spanish Steps. Fortunately dinner wasn’t until 9, Italian style.
And yes, I have a recipe! I tried it out this morning in my kitchen in Moldova, and here’s the photo. It was wonderful and tasted just the way I had it in Rome. I made it with 75% dark chocolate. The better the chocolate the better the hot chocolate will be (imagine that), so don’t try this with some cheap stuff.
So here goes:
ITALIAN CIOCCOLATA CALDA
1 ½ cups (3.5 dl) whole milk (or part heavy cream)
2 Tbsp (30 g) sugar
3.5 oz (100 g) good quality dark chocolate, 70% or higher, broken into pieces
2 tsp (10 ml) cornstarch (cornflour)
Take about 4 Tablespoons of the milk and set it aside. In a medium saucepan, over low heat, slowly heat the rest of the milk and the sugar.
When the sugar is dissolved and the milk is hot, but not boiling, add the chopped chocolate and stir until it is melted.
Mix the cornstarch with the reserved milk and add it to the chocolate mixture in the pan. Stir until the mixture thickens.
Pour into mugs or cups and serve immediately.
This makes 2 large or 4 small servings.
You can serve whipped cream (the real deal!) on the side or on top for added decadence. Also nice is a sprinkling of cinnamon.
This is a basic recipe and from here you can get creative by adding some coffee liqueur, or any other liqueur, some vanilla flavoring, etc
I’ve seen cioccolata calda served in very small cups, and even thicker than this recipe, but I’ve not tasted or tried that version.
Now go try this and tell me how you like it!
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What kind of decadent food do you enjoy?