Posted by: oysterculture | March 2, 2009

Ode to Chaud (Chocolat) en Paris

 
Le Deux Magots (photo from splendorsofeurope)

Le Deux Magots (photo from splendorsofeurope)

When I think of sipping hot chocolate, sure, on occasion, the image of being nice and toasty in front of a crackling fire comes to mind – I grew up in Minnesota after all.  But when I close my eyes and let imagination take over, the rich flavor slowly and luxuriously coats my tongue, my mind drifts back to my first un chocolat chaude in Paris.  I know I can never return to the innocent chocolate lover I was;  my taste buds have awakened to wonderful and new sensations, temptation lurks in every cup.   That experience opened my eyes to a new world, a wonderful world, where hot chocolate will never be the same. 

chaude chocolat

chaud chocolat (photo from iheartfrance)

However before I proceed, I  have to ask, can you believe that the French did not like  chocolate when they were first introduced?  I’d go so far to say, it went beyond dislike, to visceral contempt, they referred to it as a ‘noxious drug” or a “barbarous product”.   This happened back in the sixteen century, so can we say they’ve “come along way, baby”?   It took Maria Theresa of Austria, wife of King Louis XIV to set them straight as she shared her love of chocolate with the French people.  Once they took to the drink, there was no turning back.

When sanity returned, the French quickly showed the world they knew what to do.  Today, walks around Paris reveal fantastic places to stop rest and enjoy a wonderful cup of un chocolat chaude.  Many of these places are ensconced in history:  Cafe Angelina, Fauchon, Cacao et Chocolat.   David Lebovitz created his list of favorites, and as some of these restaurants are practicially institutions some overlap may occur.  Really, what better way to relax, and enjoy the atmosphere and of course the people watching, which is a favorite activity when I travel, or engage in spirited debate as to what arrondissement, shop, restaurant, park, shall be explored next. 

une chocolatiere (photo from choco-club)

une chocolatiere (photo from choco-club)

Chocolat Chaud  (4 (6oz) cups)  adapted from Pierre Hermé
Ingredients:

2-1/4 c whole milk
1/4 c bottled still water
1/4 c (generous) superfine granulated sugar
1 100-gm bar (3-1/2 oz) dark bittersweet chocolate (70% cocoa is recommended), finely sliced/chopped 
1/4 c (1 oz or 28 gm) cocoa powder, loosely packed, preferably Valrhona

In a 2-qt saucepan, stir together the milk, water, and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the chopped chocolate and the cocoa and bring to a second boil, whisking until the chocolate and cocoa dissolve and the mixture has thickened. Reduce the heat to very low.

Blend for 5 minutes with an immersion mixer for 30 seconds, until thick and foamy.  Pour into a favorite cup, relax, and enjoy a thoroughly delightful experience.

Now sit back relax, lift the cup and inhale the intoxicating fragrance, take a slow sip of that luscious goodness and let it glide over your tongue as you enjoy the flavors that seep into your consciousness.  This is living!

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Responses

  1. How heavenly this sounds! That’s very interesting that the French didn’t like chocolate at first. Can’t imagine 🙂

  2. Ooh la la, I’m picturing myself in Paris right now 🙂

  3. The female half of this Duo had Cafe Angelina’s hot chocolate. It is intensely good. So filling, warm, thick, rich. It’s amazing!

  4. So am I – my eyes are squeezed shut in an attempt to make that vision a really, maybe I need to tap my heels – its raining buckets in SF right now and I need a break!

  5. You might need to take the male half of the Duo so he doesn’t get jealous. He’ll better understand the strong desire to get back once you do. =)

  6. I love the history and it is so nice to read this post while having a cup of tea and a bar of chocolate with it 🙂

    By the way, I have an award for you on my blog. Go check it out.

  7. Zerrin. thank you so much for the award – what a compliment! You made my day!

  8. ah, I love Les Deux Magots…what a lovely thought for the day!

  9. Me too, and if there was a way to “beam me up, Scotty” I’d be there right now.

  10. […] chocolate being the next big thing – boy, where they right.  In a previous post, I wrote about chaude chocolat and included a […]


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