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Thursday, January 29, 2009

daily bliss: hot chocolate

When I was in college, my Grandma would buy me giant canisters of Swiss Miss hot cocoa mix and my friends and I would drink the stuff every night in the winter, late, when our plans to study often devolved into another gabfest...

Growing up, Mom made hot cocoa on the stove, with Hershey's cocoa and sugar. Sometimes we added marshmallows...

I remember one winter day when my brother, cousins, and I went sledding, my aunt had a huge pan of cooking simmering away on the stove...

And, two of the years I was "on the market," a seemingly pleasant term for the nasty business of the academic job market in the humanities, I attended our large national conference (where many initial interviews take place) in Philadelphia. Since the conference (cruelly) coincided with the holidays, it also (blessedly) coincided with the Hot Chocolate Sommelier at the Ritz-Carlton. My friends and I created over the top beverages, laced with chambord and frangelico, and topped off with towering homemade marshmallows, and a price tag rivalling the fanciest hand-crafted cocktail...

Now, I make a mug of hot chocolate before bed many nights, to warm up and send me off to blissful dreams. I too take the old fashioned route and fix it on the stove, in a small pan, using a mini whisk to add air and froth.

Dharmagirl's Hot Chocolate

1 TBS cocoa powder, Valrhona (this stuff is $$$ but is unbelievably rich)
2 tsp sugar, Florida Crystals Organic Natural Cane
a splash of vanilla
a mug full of milk

place cocoa powder and sugar in a small saucepan. add the vanilla and a small amount of the milk; stir. once you have a thin paste, whisk in the rest of the milk. cook over medium heat until steaming. add marshmallows or whipped cream or nothing at all. i like to drink it with a slice of buttered toast.

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