Tuesday, May 06, 2014

DIY Angelina Hot Chocolate

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.
'Magnesium: Cacao beans are one of the best dietary sources of magnesium — a mineral needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in our bodies — with 272 milligrams per 100 grams. It's important for muscle and nerve function and keeps the heart rhythm steady.
Fibre: You don't get any dietary fibre when you eat a chocolate bar, but you do get some when you snack on cacao nibs: one ounce has nine grams!
Iron: Iron, which is necessary for red blood cell production, is found in cacao nibs. An ounce of the raw nibs has six per cent of your recommended daily iron intake.
 Surely you've heard about the antioxidant power of dark chocolate — well, that goes even more for cacao beans, especially when eaten raw. Antioxidants are important for health because they absorb the free radicals that cause damage in the body.
Mood Improver: Neurotransmitters are the messengers in our brains that tell our bodies how to act, and that includes mood. Cacao's ability to act on those neurotransmitters is why it's known for its mood-enhancing skills. Chocolate and cacao stimulates the brain to release particular neurotransmitters that can trigger emotions — including good ones like euphoria. That's why some people say chocolate is better than sex!
Phenylethylamine (PEA): This is a chemical found in cacao, one that our bodies also make naturally. We produce PEA, an adrenal-related chemical, when we're excited — it causes the pulse to quicken, making us feel focused and alert.
Anandamide: Anandamide, a lipid found in cacao, is another compound tied to cacao's feel-good properties. This lipid has been called "the bliss molecule", because its natural molecular shape represents that of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.
Theobromine: Cacao beans do have a couple of controversial ingredients, though. One of them is theobromine, which makes up one to two per cent of the cacao bean and is a nervous system stimulant that dilates the blood vessels — much like caffeine. This ingredient is what makes cacao and chocolate unsafe for dogs, and some people find that it affects them the way caffeine might.
Oxalic Acid: Oxalic acid is a compound found in cacao that inhibits the absorption of calcium, a mineral that's also found in the food. So though there is calcium in cacao, it's not considered a good calcium source for this reason. The good news is that you're getting more of the calcium by eating cacao than you are if you eat processed chocolate, because the sugar found in chocolate takes calcium reserves from the body.
Other foods also contain oxalic acid, including rhubarb stalks, black pepper, and poppy seeds'.
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?
Essential ingredients:
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.
Ta da
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


  1. What a cute post~
    You know your chocolat chaud..as for me I say you win because I know who butters Paris Breakfast's baguette that I love to read:)
    Plus you seem to have it down to a science..mastered!
    Tell me have you heard of Coco Boer?
    I read about it on a very French.. beautiful blog..a powder..to add to cookies etc?
    Love le mini ensemble..

    1. It's a drink from licorice root and has nothing to do with hot chocolate...
      Le Bonbon au Palais carries it.
      I'll check it out Monique

  2. Wow, that is a lot of work! Bear must have taken a nap after that :)
    I love hot chocolate, too, but I'll go with ready made or Whole Foods!

    1. Where is the work?
      You put stuff in a pot
      And boil it
      That is it!!!

    2. You are winning the "Understatement of the Year" award! :-)

    3. It's not like you have to shave 6 chocolate bars or boil the cream seoerately.
      There is no cream anyway.

    4. The real work is in the cleanup afterwards, Carol! But, I'm sure it's all worth the effort. No contest between a small homemade batch with love and cinnamon, and commercial-scale bulk preparations....

  3. I have my doubts. I better come over tout suite to taste test. Miam.

    1. Shall I give Angelina some competition and open a Hot chocolate shoppe?
      With Iced hot chocolate in Summer?

    2. Margot M3:16 PM

      Don't you mean
      Tout SWEET?

  4. Saffron3:17 PM

    Woo hoo!

    So you can master the complexity of hot chocolate in Paris and yet the database is a mystery.
    You are DEFINITELY an artist. I’m totally trying this.
    The chocolate you recommended… all winners.
    Holy moly yum.

  5. Foodwalker4:07 PM

    Yay!!! That's how they make it in Spain to go with their churros.
    Yum, want a cup now!

  6. Marilyn4:08 PM

    Now I am looking at the cacao at amazon.

    1. Amazon has at least 20 kinds of CACAO NIBS available !
      Who knew? Here they are ard to find.
      Most are raw. Mine is toasted/torrified.
      Still they seem to have lots of healthy properties and are tasty to boot!

    2. Natierra Organic Cacao Nibs
      Looks like a good brand on Amazon with lots of plus recs.

  7. Hi Carol ... I got my May newsletter and I love it. I just love Lily of the Valley, so this one was very special. Your envelopes are special, I love it when I open the mailbox and there it is peeking at me.

    So glad you are so settled into Paris, and not just a visitor anymore. I wish you the best.

    Karen in VA

  8. A post about chocolate, with pictures of Bear - how wonderful! And oh, that cup of chocolat looks soooo goood!! Can I come over to try it?? Please????

    1. DIY
      Do it yourself Jill !!!
      Too easy once you've got a vanilla bean, a stick of cinnamon, some crystalized ginger and basic hot chock mix
      Try it! you'll like it. :)

  9. Wonderful post! My daughter brought me a bottle of the Angelina's chocolate. It took longer to get it out of the bottle than it did to heat it up and drink it. It was delish. Your additions of ginger and vanilla bean sound great, so I will vote for your recipe.I love the actual health benefits of chocolate. Enjoy spring in Paris! Cheers!
    Fan from Rural Oregon

  10. Oh my (chocolate!) goodness, without even tasting, I just know that I would favor your home brewed hot chocolate delight! I love complex flavors and dark chocolate with less sugar than customary. And I am so glad that my vanilla bean grinder is part of your ritual now!

    And let me state that I deeply admire your dedication to brewing a perfect cup of hot chocolate, searching for just the right ingredients all over Paris. I can see a "PCHC" (Perfect Cup of Hot Chocolate) tour with Carol in the future. ;-)

    Let me know if you ever need a replacement vanilla bean grinder. I add mine to both coffee and tea. Did you know that when the East Frisians, who know how to brew a perfect cup of tea, add a bit of vanilla bean to their everyday brew and then call it "Sunday Tea"? You are drinking Sunday Hot Chocolate every day, methinks. ;-)

    1. P.S.:
      I like to add a bit of hot pepper to hot chocolate.

    2. YUM I will add the vanilla bean to my tea too. The Vanilla Moulin IS available here too! But I just add dried up bits of bean to the bottle and it works fine.
      THANK YOU Merisi!!

  11. I loved getting my most special envelope and a fabulous stamp too!! The Muguet letter is lovely I was so happy to receive it--Thanks so much for sending it.

    You Made my day!

  12. Your home brew sounds fabulous. Intrigued with the pinch of salt. Yes, you should set up a stand in competition. The Perfect Paris Breakfast Brew!

    1. My dad always put salt on his ice cream
      But of course...it intensifies flavors.

      OK I'll open a stand directly across from Angies

  13. Okay. Just imagine this.
    Going to a Salon de Chocolat
    In Paris
    Maybe lunch at Angelina's.
    Then go home and do yoga with Nic and Pancho.
    Pretty good day, right???

  14. Anonymous10:57 AM

    Oh- Bear is obviously in full charge of this operation! This was fascinating and I now know why I have suddenly become a choc-a-holic. Stressful times but this too shall pass away so have to just keep on keeping on. Your lovely writing cheers me every time. Thanks

  15. Could not exist without my morning hot cocoa.
    I still have some German cocoa left from trips and gifts
    so I'm very careful to use exactly two heaping spoonfuls.
    I pour this into tea water in a saucepan,
    Bring it to a sweet smelling boil. A new thing, I no
    longer add sugar~ someone said marshmallows are
    a must instead~ . Waiting for the cocoa is a cup with
    an inch of coffee, creamer OR soy milk (about the same
    amount you would add to coffee) and maraschino
    cherries (three or four) and the three marshmallows.
    A dash of cinnamon on top.

  16. This sounds so good. Now I see Bugs has also mentioned maraschino cherries and marshmallows. Oh this could be quite the decadent sipping experience.

  17. Love Angelina's hot chocolate! Thanks for the post.

  18. Jacquelyn9:57 PM

    You keep my spirits up. Had my own chocolate chaud this am...thinking ot Angelinas...but with my own CA blend.

    1. Thanks!
      Be sure and throw in a cinnamon stick, vanilla bean and a slice of crystalized ginger to jazz it up Jacquelyn !!

  19. Your blog keeps keeps my memories of being in PARIS alive, & the passion for returning.
    Love the way you are bopping around all over & doing daily life there!

  20. Bonjour ma chère amie,

    Rien de tel que du chocolat ! Figure-toi que j'ai une boîte d'orangettes tout près de moi et je pioche, je pioche !... Pourtant il est tôt encore mais tant pis...
    J'ai de la chance de vivre tout près de chez Weiss et des Chocolats des Princes et donc je ne peux pas m'empêcher de m'y arrêter pour faire mon stock !!

    Merci pour cette très jolie publication qui prouve que je n'ai pas tort d'acheter et de manger autant de chocolat !...
    Gros bisous ♡

  21. I couldn't resist tackling the experiment.
    If you could have seen my face when I
    wondered briefly why it smelled like chili~
    just before I realized I had used cumin.
    The cumin must have been sitting next
    to the bottle of ground cinnamon. Yikes.

  22. You want to use a WHOLE cinnamon STICK
    Powder may not do the trick!!

  23. Enrica9:49 AM

    I'll go with homemade hot chocolate!

  24. Happy to have your recipe since I missed my chance to sample Angelina's fabled offerings my last trip to Paris, was in a bit of a rush that afternoon and the line was well out the door. Plan to try it soon since mornings in New Mexico are still quite nippy this time of year.

  25. Both look wonderful. I've had the Angelina's chocolat chaud several times, never takeaway, indeed I don't think I'd noticed that they do that. I'm looking forward to more this winter. It seems totally decadent that you have a daily chocolat chaud, I do love the thought, and experimentation and tinkering that go into it. Even bliss can be improved.


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