Not all hot chocolate is created equal. Chocolat Chaud is French hot chocolate, also called French drinking chocolate. It's extremely decadent and rich, truly intended for sating chocoholics. You'll find it in popular Parisian cafés and tea rooms like Angelina, Carette, and Café de Flore, but it's easy enough to make yourself at home in 10 minutes or less!
5ounces(130 grams) good quality bittersweet dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa), finely chopped
½teaspoonpure vanilla extract
Big pinch sea salt
1tablespoonlight brown sugar(optional)
Whipped cream, for serving(preferably homemade and unsweetened; optional)
In a medium saucepan heat the milk over medium heat until steaming but not boiling.
Remove from the heat and whisk in the chopped chocolate until it's completely smooth. Whisk in the vanilla extract and sea salt. Return the saucepan to medium heat and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, whisking occasionally, until silky and thickened. For a slightly sweeter finish, whisk in brown sugar until dissolved (this is a matter of personal preference).
Pour into cups and serve with fresh whipped cream, if desired.
Serve this French hot chocolate in tea cups or cappuccino cups, not in large mugs. It's very rich and a small amount goes a long way.
Choose the best quality chocolate you can. This is not the place to cut corners. I don't recommend chocolate chips for this recipe, as they contain stabilizers and do not melt as smoothly. Brands of chocolate I recommend include Lindt, Ghirardelli, Godiva, and Moser Roth (from Aldi).
Cool leftover French hot chocolate to room temperature, then refrigerate it in an airtight container. Reheat gently in the microwave or in a saucepan over low heat.
Drinking chocolate should be considerably thicker than classic American-style hot cocoa, but not quite as thick as chocolate fondue.
This recipe can easily be reduced to make a single cup or two, or multiplied to make more!