Saturday, June 7, 2014

European-Style Hot Chocolate Dex+

I'm so pleased! My daughter went to Hamacon last night, and got hot chocolate. Now, here's the awesome part: she said it tasted so weak and sickly sweet that she had to give it away! She also couldn't drink the Dr Pepper! My scheme is working; my children don't like fructose-laden foods any more. Of course this also means that her friends think our "sweets" aren't sweet enough... I may need to add extra sweeteners when they visit.

In her honor, I wanted to make some real hot chocolate. I've had Jacques Torres' hot chocolate on Valantine's before (hugs to my DH); it's delicious, rich and thick. If I could Dex+ that, wow! But he doesn't share his recipe; hmmm.

I came across this European hot chocolate recipe by Recchiuti, and was very disappointed to find that it is made primarily of his chocolate; not really a recipe at all. However, I like the idea of frothing it, and he's got an interesting list of flavorings, spirits, and garnishes. It would be fun to set up a hot chocolate party like he does, and offer the selection for friends to customize their chocolate with. Home-made marshmallows may be in my future too...

Ok, the next thing I found was this one by Helen McLean. Her recipe is so simple; but it relies upon sucrose-sweetened chocolate. A visit to the spread sheet, the pantry, and some nutrition websites, and two tries in the kitchen, and I've got something pretty special now. :) Next time I'll add vanilla. I didn't realize it was missing until later, but vanilla makes everything just a little better, right?

Simmering the water, syrup, cocoa, dextrose, and salt will take this mixture from gritty to luxuriously creamy.

Adding the milk, cream and cornstarch, and bringing to a boil, will thicken everything nicely. Increase or decrease the cornstarch by 1/4 tsp to make it thicker or thinner.

Off the heat, add the chocolates, then go to town on it with a whisk or a stick blender with an air whipping attachment, like the one above.
A larger pot would have made it easier to whip without splashing the precious chocolate over the sides. The bubbles are really nice though. Maybe I'll use a bigger pot next time. 
I can't wait to spring this on my daughter! She's at the con again today though. The three of us that are home have split two "single" servings in tea cups. I'm thinking next time we each need our own serving in a jumbo mug. Mmmm.

European-Style Hot Chocolate

Ingredients (per person):

¾ cup milk
¼ cup cream
¾ tsp cornstarch (+/- ¼ tsp as desired)
10 g unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 Tbsp water
2 tsp (14 g) simple syrup Dex+
5 g (1 Tbsp) dutch process cocoa (Guittard's Cocoa Rouge or Hershey's Special Dark)
16 g dextrose
1 pinch salt


  1. Whisk together milk, cream, and cornstarch; set aside.
  2. Measure out unsweet and semi-sweet chocolates; set aside.
  3. In a saucepan, combine water, syrup, cocoa, dextrose, and salt until smooth. Bring to a simmer over low to medium heat, while stirring. Continue to simmer for a minute or two.
  4. Stir the milk/cream/cornstarch mixture again, and pour into the saucepan while still stirring. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring frequently. Stirring constantly, allow to boil for a minute or two to allow cornstarch to thicken. Remove from heat.
  5. Add chocolates and optional flavoring and spirits. Mix and froth with a stick blender, add optional garnish, and serve.

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