Dark European Hot Chocolate with Chocolate Whipped Cream and Sea Salt

adapted from Adventures in Cooking

Makes 4 small or 6 very small servings

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cost: $3.20

chocolate: 2.00 (that's on the cheap side; I actually got mine for $1 because it the high quality chocolate was on clearance and I pillaged the store, but $2 can get you an okay chocolate; $3 will get you a perfectly good one and more will make this phenomenal), milk: .10, cream: 1.00, cocoa: .10

Note: This might look like normal hot chocolate, but it is thick and filling. Do not fill up a mug and think you can polish it off without getting a tummy ache. Pretend your Parisan and get one of those tiny espresso cups or something.

Note on using chips instead of bars: This can work, but you'll want to melt it all on the heat, then let it sit for a while--ten minutes or so--and then heat it again. When we did this, we had a thoroughly melted cup of cho despite the chips we used in our first batch.

Note on chocolate: You don't have to use the best chocolate in the world, but you can't use junk if you want this to taste good. Save the generic waxy chocolate for some kid's birthday party and use something better for this.

For hot chocolate:

5 oz dark chocolate (I suggest 60-50%, but if you're brave, you can go 80% or 90% and if you're a wimp, try a nice semi-sweet 50%)

3/4 C milk

For whipped cream:

1 C heavy whipping cream

3 Tbsp cocoa powder

1 Tbsp sugar (I used about 1 1/2 T because I was afraid)

chunky sea salt for sprinkling

To prepare hot chocolate:

Heat a small saucepan on medium or medium low. Heat chocolate in it until melted (watch it at this phase; you don't want to burn your chocolate; just mix it almost constantly and this will be fine). When it's melted or nearly so, whisk in the milk. Whisk until ingredients combined and then heat until smooth. I like to let it sit for a few minutes. I feel this helps the chocolate get silky smooth (especially if you used chips, but even if you used a bar).

For whipped cream:

Add cream to a bowl and blend away. Start on a lower speed and make it higher every 30 seconds or so. When it's starting to get lots of air bubbles, add the cocoa powder (turn the speed down or you'll dust your house in cocoa powder). This will make it thicken faster (no, I don't know why, but it does). Then add the sugar.

To make hot chocolates:

Pour chocolate into a tiny adorable cup. Add a generous scoop of chocolate whipped cream. Sprinkle with chunky sea salt. Drink. Or spoon it out if you'd rather (that's totally what I did).

Posted by The Tasty Cheapskate: tastycheapskate.blogspot.com