Monday, February 12, 2007

Relatively Inexpensive Valentine's Day Recipe #1: Hot Chocolate

If hot chocolate doesn't sound like a dessert to you, you've probably been drinking powdered cocoa, not real drinking chocolate. A mug of real hot chocolate with an artisan marshmallow or homemade whipped cream is a fabulous treat that can be made at home quickly and relatively inexpensively.

First, get yourself some chocolate. To make two servings, you want about four ounces of good chocolate, semisweet or dark. The larger the percentage of cocoa solids, the better. You can also use Ghirardelli semisweet chocolate chips; they melt easily and taste great. Once the chocolate is melted, add a cinnamon stick to simmer (or a dash of ground cinnamon), a pinch of salt, and, if you're feeling adventurous, a pinch of chili powder. Then dilute the chocolate with heavy cream (or regular old milk, if you prefer slightly less richness), slowly, stirring thoroughly. If you like, you can add amaretto, rum, curacao, or brandy to taste. Top with whipped cream (if you buy cream for the recipe, reserving a half-cup or so and whipping it with powdered sugar to taste and a teaspoonful of rum is delicious and cost-effective) or marshmallow.

If you only have to buy chocolate, cream, and either powdered sugar or marshmallows, this recipe should cost you under $10. I'd advise skipping the booze if it's not already in the pantry, but that's up to you.

Best enjoyed while cuddled up to a significant other or under a blanket. This is a great recipe for girls-only anti-love Valentines Day movie marathons, too, since it's cozy, comforting, can be expanded easily to serve as many people as your heart desires, and doesn't carry too much Valentiney baggage.


ispf said...

Yummmm... you're making my mouth water! Somebody should make a rule that chocolate-based recipes should be prefixed with "Warning to chocoholics: KEEP AWAY from this post!" :)

*Off she goes to eat the last piece of Lindt truffle from the bag she wasn't supposed to open until day after tomorrow*

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