My Family's Favorite Hot Chocolate
From "Mollie Katzen's Sunlight Café" (Hyperion, September
Yield: 2 servings (easily multiplied)
Preparation time: 10 minutes
||There are some days–and some
moods–when hot chocolate is just simply the answer. (And
there might not even have been a question!) This recipe truly hits
that indescribable spot.
- Soy milk– or a combination
of milk and cream–can be substituted for the
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoons sugar
3 cups milk
A pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Combine the chocolate chips and sugar in a medium-sized
saucepan. Pour in the milk, then add the salt and vanilla.
- Place the saucepan over medium heat, stirring slowly as the
mixture heats up and the chocolate melts. Don't let it boil.
- Serve hot, topped with whipped cream and a light sprinkling of
cinnamon, if desired.
That skin is actually a protein called casein, which evaporates and
dries out on the hot surface of the milk. As you may have noticed,
removing the skin while the milk is still heating doesn't do much
good, since another layer will soon appear in its place. That's a
good reason not to bother. An even better reason: The casein is
very nutritious, and every time you skim off a layer, you are
removing some of the protein from the milk.
The food scientist Shirley Corriher, in her very entertaining and
informative book, Cookwise
, suggests an inspired solution to
this dilemma: "With hot chocolate, the simplest solution is to add
marshmallows, which melt on the surface. They contain an egg white
foam and gelatin, which coat the surface and prevent the casein
from drying." On behalf of all of us who harbor a secret passion
for marshmallows on our cocoa, I want to thank Shirley for this