Thursday, February 16, 2012

Of chocolate

hot cocoa and pisco sour, Cuzco, 2011

When I was 20, I flew to Boston to visit my friend Audrey who was attending Brandeis. Before we hopped on the train to Waltham, she insisted that we stop by this little chocolaterie in Cambridge. The place was swarmed with impeccably yet casually dressed Ivy Leaguers, with not a hair out of place, and in that context I felt suddenly provincial and shabby whereas at home I just felt punk, ha. Audrey swooned describing their "drinking chocolate" and when I saw it on the menu I scoffed inwardly. Relax, guys, I know you're fancy but you can just call it hot cocoa. But it wasn't hot chocolate. It was piping hot, velvety...drinking...chocolate and we passed the warm paper cup back and forth all the way to the T station.

I've not thought about that confection much since that day, but recalling Nick's one-man hot chocolate tour of the Sacred Valley inspired me to whip up something sweet for Valentine's Day since I maaaybe didn't get him a gift really. Dessert-making in this household is best left to Nick, mostly because I am too practical to make anything where the leftovers can't be transferred to Pyrex and serve as stand-alone meals for the week. (I'm certifiably no fun) Also, I just like dessert less than he does. So, because it was a smushy holiday and because I Googled it at work and was excited that there were only two ingredients:

Drinking chocolate!
4 oz. chocolate
2 oz. half and half

You just need 2:1 chocolate:half and half. I used 2 oz. of dark chocolate and 2 oz. of milk chocolate and melted them in a double boiler, then added 1 oz. of half and half at a time, stirring until blended. Once it's uniformly smooth you can add any spices you may have in mind. I used cinnamon in one batch and cayenne pepper in another. And then forgot that I had already added the cayenne pepper and added some more. Hot chocolate

Pour into a demi-tasse and serve! After Nick's first sip he said, "I think you're trying to kill me." Like I said, I don't make many desserts, but this is a compliment, right?


  1. Oh, how I love Burdick's. I'm feeling inspired to stroll down to Haavaad Square right now. Don't be jealous though, you have Jeni's.

    1. Yes! This must be in your backyard! What a cute place.

      I have a feeling there will be Jeni's scoop shops on the coasts soon enough. Mixed feelings about this - more people eating awesome ice cream, but loses some of that locally-sourced ethos, you know?

      For now I will enjoy it being a ten minute walk away :)

  2. Clarification: NO ONE likes desserts as much as Nick does! ;)