Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Shiver Me Timbers - Brandied Hot Chocolate

h/t Terry Border's Bent Objects

Brandied Hot Chocolate

The thickness and taste varies on the chocolate’s level of cacao. Ghirardelli is great, and produced a full-bodied cocoa. Lindt is also good but needs a tad more cornstarch for thickening. Avoid chocolate with more than 60 percent cacao. It will be too bitter.

2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup water
10 oz fine-quality bittersweet (not unsweetened) chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsweetened Ghirardelli cocoa
2 to 3 tablespoons brandy
1 drop of lemon juice per serving.

Make cornstarch slurry. Whisk together cornstarch and 2 tablespoons milk and set aside.

Bring water to a boil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan, then reduce heat to moderately low and add chopped chocolate and a pinch of salt, whisking until smooth.

Add cream and remaining milk (1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons) and increase heat to moderate, then cook, whisking occasionally, until the mixture is smooth and heated through.

Whisk cornstarch slurry again, then add half to chocolate mixture and simmer, whisking, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.

Add brandy, remaining cornstarch mixture to thicken if desired, then simmer, whisking, 1 minute. Just before serving add ONE drop of lemon juice to each serving. The recipe makes about 3 cups, enough for 3 nice mugs. The lemon juice will bring out the aromatics in the chocolate without lending any citrus taste to it.

Perhaps better without pirate marshmallows, but whatever floats your boat.

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