Making hot chocolate from scratch can be tricky, but worth it, because you get a smooth, frothy drink instead of a chalky or granular one.

Adapted from Pierre Herme's recipe for Chocolat Chaud (Vogue Magazine, February 2000).

  • 2 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3.5 oz or 100 grams dark bittersweet chocolate, like Scharffen Berger, Valrhona, or Lindt. Go and splurge as much as you can on this. Trust me. Don't get the cheap stuff. Get something that is 70% cocoa.
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder (you're supposed to use premium brands here, but I get good results with Hershey's or store brand powder, if I use an expensive chocolate bar)
Additional equipment: Chop up the chocolate bar with a serrated bread knife. Combine the milk, water, and sugar in a pot. Stir, and bring to a boil. Now add the chocolate and the cocoa. Reduce heat to very low. Stir until the chocolate melts. Froth it up with your mixer for five minutes, or ladle it into a blender and whip it for 30 seconds.

Makes 4 5-ounce servings, but five ounces is all you need. Serve it in a teacup, not a mug. This is sipping hot chocolate. You can make this up a day ahead, refrigerate, and then heat and froth when you're ready to serve.

variation on above recipe:

Additional ingredients:

Add the peanut butter to the saucepan/pot at the same time as the chocolate and cocoa. It should melt into the mixture providing a thicker blend with more body and a huge flavor.

I made this one time when I went through an experimental food period (what can I do to make this more exciting?) and I like it so much that regular hot chocolate just seems bland by comparison.

Postscript: You can use more peanut butter if you like, but I found that using more than 3 spoonfuls causes it to not melt as easily.

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