Cioccolata Calda



Katie, bar the door. That ain’t your average cup of hot cocoa.  This cup of heaven has a thicker consistency and a more intense chocolate flavor than the thinner cocoa mixes that come in packets. It’s almost like liquid pudding.

Notes: A lot of recipes I’ve come across call for cocoa powder as the only source of chocolate. However, I found that cocoa powder kind of lacks depth. So, when using it as a sole source of chocolate flavor, I either boost flavor by adding espresso powder or I add another source of chocolate to the mix. Then, I stumbled across a Cook’s Illustrated recipe that pretty much solved the problem for me, as usual.  I varied it only slightly:


Ingredients:

7 ounces granulated sugar 3 ounces cocoa powder 3 ounces Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate chips 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped 1 1/2 ounces dry milk 5 teaspoons cornstarch 1 teaspoons vanilla extract 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

whipped cream, for topping


Instructions:

1. Put all ingredients (except for the whipped cream, of course) into a food processor.  Process until mixture is fine.  This will take a couple minutes.  The mixture makes enough for about 12 cups of hot chocolate — or, if you prefer, cioccolata (tchoh-koh-LAH-ta) calda!

2. To prepare the hot chocolate, we’ll be using 1 cup of milk for every 1/4 cup of cocoa mix.  Note that this is so good, I almost hate to call it “cocoa mix”.  It’s much, much better than that.  Moving forward: heat milk in a saucepan over medium heat until steamy.  Add cocoa mix and whisk continuously until simmering.

3.  Remove from heat, pour in to cups or mugs, and top with whipped cream.

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