Le Chocolat Chaud

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I love cold nights as they are quintessential of what makes autumn/winter so amazing. You can turn on the fireplace, cozy up underneath a blanket, gather around with friends and family, and enjoy a nice, warm mug full with decadent hot chocolate. Does that not sound amazing? I must say, though, that not all hot chocolates are created equal and that part of the whole cold nights equation can make or break the feeling. Those little packets of “chocolate” are good, but truly aren’t great. You taste more sugar than chocolate and those dried mini marshmallows aren’t really marshmallows. That’s why I created this recipe, a riff on the French version of hot chocolate, Le Chocolat Chaud. Parisian hot chocolate is thicker than our version of the cocoa powder based beverage and leans more towards being a true velvety drinking chocolate. Now, for all the purists out there, this recipe is not your true French hot chocolate. It starts with the fact that the base of the whole drink is actually almond milk. The next little twist is the addition of marshmallows inside the beverage. That’s right, we don’t just top it with marshmallows here, we actually melt some inside. It adds to creating the thick and velvety texture that we’re going for. Next goes in the chocolate. We have some of the best chocolatiers here in northern California so my favorite type of chocolate to use for this beverage is TCHO 66% Dark Chocolate Discs, which are made over in Berkeley. Let me tell you, it’s difficult not to eat the whole bag of chocolate. They are that good. You actually taste the chocolate and the discs are so rich with slight notes of fruit and coffee. Any good dark chocolate will do though; just use your favorite! I truly hope that you enjoy this Le Chocolat Chaud with your family and friends and this drink can become a part of your cold nights tradition, just as it has become a part of my family’s tradition. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups unsweetened almond milk

  • 1 cup (2 oz.) mini marshmallows

  • 4 oz. good dark chocolate, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

METHODS

  1. In a medium sauce pan, heat almond milk over medium heat until almost boiling. 
  2. Add marshmallows and whisk until they have all dissolved. Add chocolate and stir until completely melted. 
  3. Remove from heat. Whisk in sugar and vanilla extract. 
  4. Serve immediately and top with a few more marshmallows. 
  5. Enjoy!