Hot Chocolate

When the wind chill is zero like it is today, all I can think of is soup and/or hot chocolate. Maybe a shot of straight bourbon, but it's a little early to be drinking shots. While I'm, waiting for my Cuban Black Bean Soup (posted tomorrow) to cook I made a batch of this. What comfort!

This recipe can be made up to the point of adding the milk to make a base syrup that can be stored for a month. To make a cup of hot chocolate in a jiffy, simply whisk 1/4 cup of the syrup into 1 cup of heated milk. The cognac adds a depth of flavor but doesn't leave a taste of alcohol.

Hot Chocolate
enough to serve 6
print recipe

1/2 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cognac (optional)
4 1/2 cups milk, heated

Put the cocoa, sugar, and salt in a heavy nonreactive pan. Slowly whisk in the boiling water, and cook at a simmer for 3 minutes. Whisk in the heavy cream, bring back to a simmer, and remove from heat. Add the chopped chocolate, and whisk until melted and smooth. Add the vanilla and optional cognac, and slowly stir in the heated milk. Cover tightly and let rest for 5 minutes before serving, so that the flavors can marry and develop. If the hot chocolate cools, gently heat to just below a simmer. Serve with marshmallows floating on top.