That’s right! Another recipe, and it’s a dandy: a hot chocolate meant to be savored.

Craig and Lisa invited us for homemade French onion soup last night. They also served a delightful salad, some tasty carrots, and, best of all, a rather odd dessert: a cup of hot chocolate (served with a slice of salty buttered toast).

But this is no ordinary hot chocolate.

This is:

Chocolat Chaud
(from It Must’ve Been Something I Ate by Jeffrey Steingarten — adapted from Pierre Hermé)


  • 2-1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup bottled still water
  • 1/4 cup (generous) superfine granulated sugar
  • 1 100-gm bar (3-1/2 ounces) dark bittersweet chocolate, Scharffen Berger, Valrhona, or Lindt (see note, below), finely sliced with a serrated bread knife
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce or 28 gm) cocoa powder, loosely packed, preferably Valrhona

Instructions: In a 2-quart saucepan, stir together the milk, water, and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the chopped chocolate and the cocoa and bring to a boil again, whisking until the chocolate and cocoa are dissolved and the mixture has thickened. Reduce the heat to very low.

Blend for 5 minutes with an immersion mixer or whirl the hot chocolate in a standard blender for half a minute, until thick and foamy.

Yield: Four 6-ounce cups of hot chocolate.

Note: I [Steingarten] use a dark chocolate containing close to 70 percent cocoa, though Lindt bittersweet also works just fine. The Mayans and the Aztecs considered the froth the best part. Today, five minutes with an immersion mixer or a blender accomplishes what a half hour of beating did long ago.

This stuff is delicious — a divine concoction. The food of the gods. It’s to be sipped, not quaffed.

Kris and I are preparing to venture out to find some good, high-quality chocolate with which to prepare this recipe for Jeremy and Jennifer tomorrow night.

The wikipedia gives us more on the history of cocoa.

The above is the fourth in my series of “Best Recipes Ever!” The other three are: Best Salsa Ever, Best Gingerbread Cookies Ever, and — my favorite — Best Clam Chowder Ever.

Sixteen years ago on this date, Kris accepted my application to be her sweetheart. We’ve been together ever since, happy and content despite our contrary natures. Today is the anniversary we mark, not our wedding anniversary.


On 24 January 2005 (07:59 PM),
jeremy said:

Happy Anniversary! Can’t wait for the hot chocolate. Will it go well with Lagavulin and a Macanudo?

On 24 January 2005 (08:19 PM),
J.D. said:

In Portland, Trader Joe’s has both Sharffen Berger and Valhrona chocolate bars, including a 70% cocoa Valhrona. They also have a house brand bar weighing 500g and containing about 70% cocoa. We’ll have try that, too.

We didn’t look for cocoa powder; Kris has some high-quality stuff she ordered from King Arthur recently. We’ll use that.

On 25 January 2005 (08:57 AM),
Amy Jo said:

Congrats to you and Kris! Paul and I also celebrate our dating anniversary more than we do our wedding anniversary. Seems more significant, seeing as we’ve been together for 15+ years now, but married for only seven.

I recommend trying Dagoba’s cocoa powder. Their hot choccolate mixes are also yummy. I especially like the Xocolatl, hot chocolate with chilies and cinnamon. It isn’t overly sweet and the chilies play off the chocolate nicely. I’ve made brownies with it and their Xocolatl bar–wowsa. Paul isn’t a dessert person and I am, but he looks at me like I’m crazy when I complain that a dessert is too sweet, especially a chocolate one. He fails to understand that too much sweetness detracts from the chocolate . . .

On 25 January 2005 (09:03 AM),
Amy Jo said:

I forgot to include their URL in my previous post:

They have a few other nibs in their favor:

1) They produce organic chocolate
2) They are fair trade certified
3) Their headquarters is located in Central Point, OR (I think)

On 25 January 2005 (09:30 AM),
Courtney said:

Happy Anniversary! Cheers to you both!

On 25 January 2005 (09:56 AM),
Denise said:

Happy Anniversary – you are a great couple!

On 25 January 2005 (11:31 AM),
J.D. said:


There’s a brief respite here at work, so I was reading my brother’s weblog, specifically his entry on the Oscar nominations. It reminded me of a story I want to tell, but keep forgetting to.

Last weekend, the book group met for a field trip. We went to see the film adaptation of A Very Long Engagement, the book we just read. Despite having reserved our tickets via Fandango, we were scattered throughout the sold-out theater.

A few of us were seated in front of a woman who truly did not belong at this movie. (I picture her as looking/acting like the young blonde woman on Lost, but who knows?)

When the film started, and the credits began to roll, she gasped. Loudly. As if some super-shocking secret had been revealed. “Omigosh!” she said.

“What’s the matter?” someone asked her.

“Don’t tell me this is one of those movies with captions,” she said. I tried not to snicker, but just couldn’t control myself.

Then, fifteen minutes into the movie, her friend asked again, “What’s the matter?”

“I am so lost,” she said. “I don’t know what’s going on.”

Somebody else leaned over and said, “Will you shut up?”

When the movie was over, most of our group headed over to South Park for late-night noshing. (I had the Farmer’s Platter — cheese, fruit, and sausage — with a glass of Aberlour; I was too cheap to spend the extra $3.50 to get Lagavulin.) We talked about the woman. We couldn’t decide whether the “shut-up” guy was with her party or not. It’s a mystery.

On 25 January 2005 (02:48 PM),
Amanda said:

Yay! Congrats!!!

On 26 January 2005 (06:32 AM),
Joel said:

Congratulations. And did you like the film?

On 03 March 2005 (06:11 PM),
J.D. said:

For the record, here’s the nutrition information for the chaud. The first number is for the entire batch; the second number assumes a 6-oz serving (one-quarter of the batch).

Calories: 1200/300
Fat: 60g/15g (40g/10g sat.)
Cholesterol: 80mg/20mg
Sodium: 280mg/70mg
Carbohydrates: 136g/34g
Fiber (yes, really): 12g/3g
Sugar: 112g/28g
Protein: 28g/7g
Calcium: 72%/18%
Iron: 40%/10%
Vitamin A: 12%/3%
Vitamin C: 4%/1%
Vitamin D: 56%/14%

One Reply to “Best Hot Chocolate Ever”

  1. Chelsea says:

    Wow thank you so much for this recipe! I just got back from france and was trying to find a recipe for chocolate chaud, so I could share the wonder with my family. Thanks! My parents will be thrilled!

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