Do you remember the Best Hot Chocolate I Ever Made? Oh sweet memories of imbibing. The memory of making that hot chocolate is as fresh as the day I made it. The after affects are as present. A chocolate hangover, who knew? Now I do, and won’t do that again. While we’re having a rather mild winter the hot chocolate consumption is limited to once or twice a week. Rather than the length and breadth of making it slowly on the stove, the favorite coffee mug gets filled with milk, popped in the microwave til hot, then hot chocolate powder is stirred in. On the odd occasion cinnamon, nutmeg or chipotle powder are mixed in, adding depth and character to the normal, every day hot chocolate.
Chocolate is proof that God loves us, and wants to see us happy.
Over the years my taste in chocolate has changed, in a manner similar to wine, and beer. As I get to know the flavors, the depth, the terroir, the distinctiveness I learn what appeals to my personal palate. Once upon a time chocolate purchased at big box stores satisfied that longing, and will do in a pinch. Now I spend a little more and savor each morsel, chocolate lasts much longer now. (Shocking, I know.)
Now I make Craft Hot Chocolate using cocoa powder, sugar in the raw, vanilla bean paste when I have it or vanilla from Tahiti, a wee nip of alcohol, milk, and half & half. Occasionally I’ll add chipotle, a little heat goes a long way. The recipe is never the same, like baking it’s an understanding of how things work, and proportions. Each steaming mug has it’s own depth, and character. Changing up the ingredients from the cocoa powder to the sugars and spices makes each cup unique. Using milk or half & half adds a creamy richness, making me want to curl up on the sofa with a good book, getting lost in both for hours on end.
The other option is bring that hot steaming mug of chocolate to the sewing studio for another level of hand crafted, creative inspiration.
With that, off I go to the kitchen, then the studio.