They were out strolling in the Tuileries one Saturday and stopped in for a takeaway cup of Angelina's chocolat chaud.
Why I've never gotten an Angelina takeaway hot chocolate I can't tell you but a seed was planted. Especially since hot choc is my daily morning drink of choice. I decided to drop in and get one. What's more I plotted to test Angelina's classic, classy brew versus my latest revised hot chock recipe.
I usually make my morning hot chocolate with a quelle ordinaire mix from Monoprix (on the left 3€). I cut it with 1/3rd of Monop's house brand cacao (on the right 3€). Both are Fair trade and from Latin America so no trafficked children picked these beans FYI
I always toss in two squares of chocolate, also plain old house brands from Monop, Franprix, Carrefour or Nestle. They all run around 1.40€ a bar. So no couture tablettes in my home brew. What I really like about these bars is they have broken up feve de cacao/cocoa nibs which add a slightly nutty texture and flavor to the hot chocolate. Miam
At the Salon de Chcolate I discovered Pierre Marcolini's caramelized eclat/flaked feve de cacao. OMG the best thing I ate at the whole chocolate Salon! But at 9.90€ sadly these have not become an addition to my hot chockie ;(
Still a girl can dream... Then I read on Huffington post that these little broken bits of cocoa bean are maybe the best thing you can eat since vitamin C was discovered. They have 9/NINE fabulous ingredients! PBers you gotta go out and find these. I mean it.
I went looking at health chain Naturalia but all they had was raw whole beàns (10€) Nogood.
Then it hit me. The place to get anything chocolate for cooking is G.Detou on 58, rue Tiquetonne
Yup, they had them for a mere 3.30€ for 250 gr. This is a major steal.
Back to the cuisine. Of late I've been throwing in a whole cinnamon stick(top notch sticks from Cinnamon Hill), this acts as a thickening agent or emulsifier. By chance I added a slice of crystalized ginger from Shanghai Tang (Cock Brand 1.50€) and it thickened even more. Always a stick of vanilla goes in. I reuse the vanilla bean and the cinnamon stick over and over. The ginger gets eaten every time. Voila, I'm ready to do hand-to-hand combat with favored winner Angelina (in the brown paper cup).
Here are some extras you can throw into your brew. Ground Bourbon vanilla bean. Why not a touch of chunk grains of salt for contrast?
3 heaping TEASPOONS of any decent hot chocolate mix including some cocoa mixed into it.
1 cup of whole milk
1 vanilla bean
1 cinnamon stick
2 squares of dark chocolate with cocoa nibs
1 teaspoon of cocoa nibs
NO ADDED SUGAR (there's cane sugar in the mix).
A pinch of salt.
In this case a 'watched pot' never boils over.
Bear is on the job.
Too many times I've turned my back, walked away and come back to chocolate soup on the burners. I let it come to a rolling boil with an occasional stir now and then.
This cooks fast. If you make it the night before and heat again in the morning it will be super, duper thick.
So we have the champ, Angelina in the left corner and our home brew on the right
Bear, our authentic resident Frenchie makes the taste test. Granted he knows which side his baguette is buttered on and tends to side with the home team. The home brew has a more complex flavor due to the added ginger and cinnamon stick. Plus the texture is pleasantly nutty(merci feves). Angelina, hands down, you can taste the cream but they both have a 'creamy' texture. Angie is also sweeter. And the WINNER IS?
Well you decide PBers.
Please give this simple recipe a try and let us know what you think.
cheers Bear et Carolg