sunbeams and sugardrops

Posts Tagged ‘chocolate

(c) thebigdurian

Sometimes, especially when the skies are like lead and the rain just won’t let up, or other times when it feels like winter inside you, a shot of hot, dark, delicious chocolate sets the world in order. As the warmth pools in your stomach and begins to slowly radiate through to your fingertips, on its way warming your heart and un-furrowing that brow,  this is love and warmth and a hug in a mug.

And it tastes darned good too. Good enough that you really shouldn’t save it for a rainy day. Hot chocolate needs to be shared – on cozy evenings in, days spent planning a project, sharing nervous revelations, exhilarating secrets, tentative self-discovery, a reward at the end of a really hard piece of thinking, or a quiet moment to kickstart your mind. Really when is NOT the right moment for a cup of hot chocolate!

The point I’m making is this. Hot chocolate needs to be had. And man I had a good cup made for me a while back I just can’t get off my mind.

Now there is no one way to make it but to make it good, you’ve got to start with good things. Good chocolate, real milk and not water…really! And just a little care. This cup I’m talking about was actually a mug filled with about 20g of good chocolate, 2-3 pieces. I like my cocoa dark so I would use a dark, semi sweet chocolate. (Another version I liked used one mini Mr.Goodbar and a mini dark Hershey’s piece). And god as I write this, I think I’m going to try my hot chocolate with a splash of gran marnier tonight!

The chocolate was then melted. In a Microwave which isn’t romantic but it’s easy and quick. So choose what you’re feeling and go with stove-top or microwave accordingly. No one needs to know. Now this next bit is key. The chocolate was whisked! A pinch of salt was added and whisked in with that melted chocolate. Warm milk was poured over the chocolate and then whisked some more.  Because the cup lost some of its heat, another 30 seconds in the microwave warmed it up perfectly.  I’d top it off with a dash of cream if the mood demands it but my god that cup was good to go. Frothy, deep cocoa flavor, salt just making it lovely and satisfying.

Now I know I’ve just gone on and on about hot chocolate which is beyond simple to make and not the least bit insightful for most but really, me, a passionate lover of chocolate,  I had no clue how to do this. All my previous hot cocoa attempts were either too wimpy or far too rich to be anything but sinful. This cup was almost wholesome!

It’s that time of the year when even in Bombay, wintry feelings start to envelope you and ideas of roaring fireplaces and cozy razais start floating around in your head. So, with images of Christmas and holiday planning and Christmas carols everywhere, I think a few cups of hot chocolate are definitely called for.

Cocoa OD

Over the last week I had baked and done my share in polishing off a lemon cheesecake and a banana loaf cake. Needless to say, the effects showed. I found myself looking in the mirror this Saturday morning and couldn’t help but notice that my cheeks looked rosier and fuller. While that description is lovely if you’re a 7 year old girl in an Enid Blyton book, it has rather the opposite effect in a girl of 27 (ok almost 28). So I wondered how all those food bloggers manage, what with all the delicious things they are constantly cooking up. And I promised myself that I wouldn’t bake again for at least 2 weeks. And I kept my promise too – technically.

A and I spent Sunday at his parents’ place and within 15 minutes of arriving, my sister-in-law and I were shortlisting cupcake AND cookie recipes. We figured since we were spending the day together, we’d make the most of it and be each others assistant. SO, we made Martha Stewarts one-bowl-chocolate-cupcakes with chocolate frosting AND Dorie Greenspan’s World Peace cookies via SmittenKitchen’s Deb.

I used my mom’s frosting recipe because I specifically asked her for it and it’s a recipe that I have licked out of bowls for many many many years. So many birthday cakes my mom made for us and for other kids had some variation of this frosting and it always tasted delicious and I ALWAYS got her to ‘test’ the shapes on my hand (I’m very helpful like that). And of course I always helped with the ‘cleaning’ of the bowls. Especially the chocolate version…the taste of that is sort of imprinted in my DNA now. I dream about her birthday cakes with her beautiful buttery frosting….oh but I digress.

I think I might have messed up the frosting – it was more sugary and less chocolatey than I wanted. But A liked it and I liked it the next day out of the fridge too. So I will stand by my love for this special frosting (the recipe for which is at the end of post).

The cupcakes weren’t spectacular but they were still satisfying. We’ll have to try out many other recipes which will be oh so difficult but it’s a sacrifice we will make in the hunt for the perfect cupcake. And the cookies were hard to cut so they weren’t nearly as neat as the ones on SmittenKitchen. But I felt good (though a little sugared up to be honest) by the end of that day. It was a day well spent. I made my first dainty little cupcake with pretty frosting. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time but lack of time and equipment have gotten in the way. And I made those amazing cookies that turned out exactly as tasty as Deb promised BUT since we halved the recipe there were far too few and they are all gone now. They were good cookies and will be fondly remembered.

But oh… by the end of the day the smell of cocoa had taken up residence on me and in my nostrils and I couldn’t look another cookie in the face. After just one cupcake, I started to feel a chocolate OD coming on. I suspect that might have been the result of the non stop licking…I mean cleaning up!! involved in the cupcake frosting process.

Still…not a bad way to spend a weekend 🙂

Click here for the recipe


Sugar Droplets