Chocolat Chaud: This taste like drinking a candy bar

In Paris, there was hot chocolate that I think of every December. On a cold day at the Musee D’Orsay,  I sat in the restaurant beneath the giant clock staring into my cup, thinking: “What is this magic elixir? How do they do this? It tastes like melted candy bars.”

The French do everything better.

I’ve tried every mix there is, trying to replicate it.

Yesterday, I melted some candy bars in milk and cream and there it was, once again.

I knew that was the secret.

In France, they call this chocolat chaud, which translates as “hot chocolate” but really means Utter Doom.

Hot Chocolate of Utter Doom

(inspired by David Lebovitz’s Parisian Chocolat Chaud)

The key here is excellent quality chocolate.

3 1/3 cups milk

2/3 cup heavy cream

10 ounces Ghirardelli chocolate — I like the 60% cacao bar –, chopped

(The same brand chocolate chips would also be OK, but they have stabliizers and make a less-smooth hot chocolate)

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

pinch of salt

1/2 tsp. vanilla

Homemade whipped cream, for topping
1. Heat the milk and cream in a medium-sized saucepan.

2. Once the milk mixture is warm, whisk in the chocolate, stirring until melted and steaming hot.

3. Stir in sugar, salt and vanilla.

Serve warm in small demitasse or coffee cups piled with whipped cream.

Note: This hot chocolate improves if made ahead and allowed to sit for a few hours. It also tastes amazing the instant that it’s done.