Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Comfort of Hot Chocolate

Each time I tell myself it's the last time, but then I get a whiff of her hot chocolate
-- Luc Clairmont
[at confession], Chocolat

Did you see the movie Chocolat? If you haven’t, you should because it’s wonderful, but I’m guessing a lot of you have. Anyway, remember the scene when Juliette Binoche’s Vianne, who says she has a talent for knowing what people’s favorite chocolate is, pours a cup of this velvety, dark chocolate that was so thick a spoon could stand up in it from what looks like a Turkish Coffee Pot, then she put a dollop of whipped cream on top? Remember Judi Dench’s reaction to that first sip? The pause, then “Mm” then a sigh and “Mmmmm”? I have been searching for that moment. I love hot chocolate, but I’ve never found anything that thick and rich or as good as I imagine that drink must taste.

Until now.

William-Sonoma has a hot chocolate mix that is wonderful. It’s not quite as thick as I would imagine I’d find in a French cafĂ©, but how thick can it be with 1% milk, really. But it’s still damn good. Oh my gosh, it is so good.

This hot chocolate is a canister of shaved bittersweet Guittard chocolate. Heat 1 cup of milk, whisk in 5 tablespoons of the chocolate and you’ve got a luscious cup of wonderful. A dollop of whip cream and a sprinkle of some of the chocolate shavings and you too will say, “mmmm.”

When Mom was up for Thanksgiving, I made everyone a cup of this hot chocolate. I did the whole thing—served them in pretty Polish pottery cups I have, whipped cream on top, sprinkled with chocolate, joking that this was a very high-end B&B they were staying in, after all. I warned them ahead of time that it’s not as sweet as the mixes that they were used to, but that I thought they’d like it even better, then I sat and waited for the response. Mom was sitting in the recliner, telling Cosette that she couldn’t have any and was faced away from me. Then, she was quiet. And using her tip toes to walk the chair around to face me, with her eyes wide and cheeks almost rosy, she asked, “Where did you get this?” She followed it with “mmmmmmmm.”

That moment was almost as good as the first sip I took.


Kathy said...

Sounds wonderful! I'll have to try it.

fiwa said...

That sounds really good. Hmmm... is it good enough to brave the mall traffic right now though?

I love Chocolat - that is one of my favorite movies.

Dianne said...

your description is so good I can almost taste it!

Newt said...

I finally bought it on dvd a few weeks ago. I love that movie. And hot chocolate was after all johnny depps characters favorite.

I will so have to try that. I have been searching without luck as well.

And the story you told with it, perfect.

Anonymous said...

Oh, "Chocolat" was wonderful! I'll have to look for some of that stuff.