one of my favorite breakfast indulgences is french hot chocolate (chocolat chaud). it's darker and more frothy than the traditional american hot chocolate. and it's typically eaten with dry, unbuttered toasted bread--an egg bread like challah or brioche works best--which is dipped into the chocolate. not something to be consumed daily (trust me). but chocolate chaud with toast makes for a positively delicious breakfast (or late night) treat.
chocolat chaud (hot chocolate)
adapted from the recipe used at ladurée.
3 cups (750 grams) whole milk
1/3 cup (80 grams) water
1/3 cup (65 grams) sugar
6 ounces (175 grams) bittersweet chocolate (at least 80% cocoa), finely chopped
to make chocolate:
bring the milk, water, and sugar just to the boil in a medium saucepan. remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the chocolate. the hot chocolate needs to be blended at this point. at ladurée, this is done with a hand-held blender (also called an immersion blender). if you have an immersion blender, leave the hot chocolate in the pan and whip it for 1 minute. if you don't have an immersion blender, transfer the hot chocolate to a traditional blender and whip on high speed for 1 minute. serve the chocolate immediately while it is still hot and frothy.
to reheat chilled hot chocolate:
the chocolate can be made up to two days ahead and kept tightly covered in the refrigerator. to reheat, warm the chocolate in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring gently, just until the first bubble pops on the surface. pull the pan from the heat, whip the chocolate for 1 minute with an immersion blender (or in a traditional blender), and serve immediately.
to make cold hot chocolate:
chill the hot chocolate until it is very cold, then stir in 3/4 cup (200 grams) cold milk. whip the cold chocolate for 1 minute with an immersion blender (or in a traditional blender). serve the cold hot chocolate over an ice cube or two. the cold hot chocolate allegedly makes for a yummy ice cream float, too.
make yourself a pot of chocolat chaud, toast yourself some strips of brioche, and indulge in a perfectly decadent breakfast or late night snack.