Something about the changing light this past couple of days really hammered home how close winter is now. The early evenings and chilly mornings made me remember a November from years ago, they made me crave hot chocolate, but not just any kind. . .
A native of Colorado, I’m no stranger to cold weather, but the winter I spent in Italy was of a different sort altogether. I was used to dry snow and icy sunshine. This was grey and damp with the chill that only a 4’ thick fourteenth century stone wall can provide. Don’t get me wrong, it was beautiful. . . beautiful and cold. When that first frigid day hit in November I walked down the cobblestone streets, shivering as I made my way to what I had discovered was a perfectly designed complement to the grey outdoors. Something that warmed my fingers and my soul. . .
. . . Italian hot chocolate. Not for the faint at heart, this stuff is the real deal.
Dark, rich, and so thick it coats your spoon, you only need a small mug to warm you up and power you through even the coldest of days.
Italian Hot Chocolate:
- 1.5 cups whole milk (or you can be delightfully decadent and use half & half)
- 3-4 tablespoons sugar
- 1.5 teaspoons cornstarch
- 3oz bittersweet chocolate finely chopped
Take a small amount of the milk in a separate bowl and whisk in the cornstarch until there are no lumps and set aside. On the stovetop over a low flame, heat the rest of your milk until just bubbling. Add the sugar and stir continually. Add the milk and cornstarch mixture and the chocolate and continue stirring until the mixture coats the back of a spoon.
Serve in small mugs. . . a little goes a long way.
With the Kids: