Chocolate Elixir


I was embarking on an ambitious two-day preparation of the chocolate raspberry cake from “La Maison du Chocolat”. I should have taken a hint when I was having trouble finding raspberries from the supermarket and realize that the day did not seem right to make it. Anyway I forged ahead, and around 10 pm that night, I realized that either the recipe was lacking an ingredient or instruction ;or I simply am so amateur a baker that I could not read between the lines. It is probably the latter. I surveyed the mess that I have perpetrated on my test kitchen; chocolate drips here, ground almonds there pots, pans and measuring cups everywhere. No wonder the “hungry hubby”, upon checking in on me decided that he was sleepy and needed to call it a day. Meanwhile, I stood there in the middle of my kitchen, frustrated, dejected and tired. My sister-in-law, who was visiting, helped me clean up (bless her heart). Okay now it is 11 pm should I just retreat into the night a failure? I reached for Sherry Yard’s “ The Secrets of Baking”. What I needed right now was a strong shot of hot chocolate and I knew exactly which one I wanted to make. The “Campton Place Hot Chocolate”, hailed in San Francisco as a hot chocolate elixir, is simply a decadent, thick chocolate drink. This is not your ordinary hot chocolate. It does involve a brief whisk of the immersion blender to get it wonderfully thick but it is relatively simple to make.

Hot Chocolate

2 cups whole milk

½ cup cream

2 tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder

1 recipe Master Ganache (to follow)

½ tsp. Tia Maria or vanilla extract

Whipped cream (optional)

Master Ganache

8 oz. bittersweet chocolate

1 cup cream

To prepare the Ganache

1.      Finely chop the chocolate and put it on a heatproof bowl. Do not leave big chunks since this will not melt properly.

2.      Bring the cream to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Boiling means the cream should actually rise up in the pan and threaten to boil over.

3.      Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chopped chocolate. Tap the bowl on the counter to settle the chocolate into the cream, and then let it sit for 1 minute. Using a rubber spatula, slowly stir in a circular motion, starting from the center of the bowl and working out to the sides. Be careful not to add too much air to the ganache. Stir until all the chocolate is melted, about 2 minutes.  It may look done after 1 minute of stirring, but keep on going until you are sure that it is emulsified.

For the Hot Chocolate

1.      Bring the milk and cream to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder and whisk or blend with an immersion blender to dissolve. Remove from the heat and add the ganache. Let sit for 1 minute, then stir until well combined, about 4 minutes. Stir in the Tia Maria or vanilla.

2.      Serve the hot chocolate right away as is or store it covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. It can be reheated on the stovetop or the microwave. If you wish, top with whipped cream or chocolate shavings.

I found that serving the hot chocolate in espresso cup sizes are more than enough rather than the eight-ounce cups that the recipe recommends. This is not a chocolate that you gulp, rather it is a sipping chocolate meant to be savored. So, did I retire that night dejected? Definitely not! There is some truth to the fact that chocolate, also considered “food of the gods”, is a powerful cure all; and for the occasional test kitchen disasters this is exactly what the doctor ordered.

12 thoughts on “Chocolate Elixir

  1. Congratulations on being Typepad's featured blog today! It was a wonderful experience for me, and I hope you make many new friends for your test kitchen. I look forward to following your adventures!

  2. Veronica, I saw your blog as part of the Typad feature blog and I am always looking for good easy recipes so came to have a look. Oh my goodness! to see this Chocolate Elixir recipe is perfect. Getting a good cup of hot chocolate here in India is almost imposible. However, the ingredients for Chocolate Elixir I can definately get so am all set for this winter. Looking forward to more great tips from you blog.

  3. One thing that no one knows yet is that even the disaster my wife explains here can be a delicious dessert. She was about to throw away the cake she made but we stopped her from doing so. Later that night, she got the raspberries and the chocolate back in the saddle and finished what she started doing the night before…..let me tell you that it was absolutely tasty….even though looks and presentation matter in food business, and if the cake didn't look like what the cook-book had in mind but that cake was so good I almost went for a second piece… had a great chocolate-almond taste that she added berries and chocolate paste to…yum! very lite and tasty!

  4. Fortunately, I know Veronica personally. We have worked together for 5+ years…no we are not employed by the food industry. Our coworker from India agreed whole heartedly with Carolyn about the impossibility of getting a good cup of hot chocolate there. I have watched Veronica develop her blog from the beginning and look forward to her continuing adventures in the kitchen.

  5. I too have sighed over La Maison du Chocolat. A masterful collection of chocolates and spices that I would never have thought to put together. Needless to say, fifteen-year-old me was extremely daunted by the recipes within, and I had already fought my way past meringues and lemon tarts.

    I admire how you pushed ahead and ended your cooking expedition on a good note with a cup of hot chocolate. You did not accept defeat, not in the least! I must try this recipe. Nothing with that much chocolate and cream in it can be anything but delish.

  6. Nice post. I was checking continuously this blog and I am impressed! Very useful information specifically the last part 🙂 I care for such information much. I was looking for this particular information for a very long time. Thank you and best of luck.

  7. You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and extremely broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

  8. In fact make it seem is so easy which show in your presentation but I miss some point and I never appreciate so I extremely request to you share info, I’m looking for in next post on my mail.

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