I had to leave my house today and walk up to Broadway to buy some saw blades for a custom order. It was dismal, misty, windy, and cold. It reminded me of Vancouver, or of Japan in the rainy season - both places I don't mind being reminded of. When I lived in Japan and I caught a chill, I would take a trip to the Japanese Denny's for hot chocolate - but this was no water and powder mixture. Imagine that part in Charlie and the Chocolate factory when they are going down the chocolate river in a boat and Willy Wonka reaches overboard to fill a mug for Charlie. So think and delicious and warm. I had dreams all my life of drinking such a beverage, and I believe I finally found it in Japan. In Vancouver, there was a Spanish Chocolate restaurant, now closed, around the corner from my apartment. They had thick hot chocolate with chili peppers and cinnamon. It blew my mind. Today I was cold after my walk and missing the places I used to live, and I decided to do some experimenting and make some hot chocolate like the stuff I used to drink in Japan and in Vancouver. Here is my recipe.
1 cup whole milk
1/2 tsp corn starch
1 bar of chocolate - Jersey Milk or Dairy Milk are good choices, Caramilk could work in a pinch, but that would change the whole drink into something else - worth a try.
Cayenne pepper and Cinnamon to taste
1. Finely grate the chocolate with a cheese grater.
2. Whisk the milk and corn starch together in a small saucepan
3. On medium heat, bring milk to a boil, stirring ocassionally.
4. Remove from heat and add chocolate and a pinch of cayenne to taste. Stir until chocolate is melted.
5. Put the pan back on the element, but lower the heat slightly.
6. Stir the mixture frequently but not vigorously, until it thickens, then remove from heat and pour into a mug.
7. Top with whipped cream. I made a mixture of about 1/8 tsp each of cinnamon and cayenne and sprinkled this over the top of my drink. It was amazing.
I would say I'm now ready to get back to my jeweller's bench and start working, but I feel more like a nap is in order.
Photo credit: chowtimes.com