December 25, 2005

A Christmas Gift!

There is nothing like A REAL hot Chocolate, made with Chocolate!

The foto is from a tiny bar in Erice where we went in search of the famous Maria Grammatica's pastry shop.
We stopped at the first sign we found saying they served Maria's pastries, and our friend from Gusto in Trapani had told us we MUST have hot chocolate at Maria's/

This hot chocolate must have had a WHOLE bar in per cup of milk.. it was pudding and with the pastries.. almost overkill.. almost!
Then walking out of the bar, we found the pastry shop itself!

More on that later.

My friend Leonardo Vestri shared his recipe with me.
and the secret is using real chocolate.
I like to use a really fabulous chocolate at least 60%.

Here's the recipe!
5 tablespoons Dutch processed cocoa powder (Hershey's European Style, Van Hooten, or Droste)
2 tablespoons sugar
6-8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 cups milk

Chili powder ( optional)

Place the cocoa powder, sugar, and 2 tablespoons of the milk in a saucepan and heat until the sugar melts, stirring well to remove any lumps. Boil and add the remaining milk. Heat to steaming, always whisking to incorporate the chocolate mixture.
Turn off the heat and add the chopped chocolate. Stir to melt the chocolate and let it sit. Reheat to serve, stirring well before serving.

Vestri serves the hot chocolate with a pinch of chili powder, or ginger if you like. You can also be really decadent and have your Vestri's ice cream, affogato, drowned in hot chocolate! 'Tis the enjoy!


  1. That hot chocolate sounds and looks decadent! I think I will make some tonight, because it's quite cold and rainy here in San Francisco.

  2. The sight of that sugar packet beside the chocolate cup made my taste buds run from me screaming. As much as I love hot chocolate, I like it to be slightly bitter. To add sugar to further sweeten it, IMHO, kills the chcolatey taste.

  3. I also was shocked to see the sugar packet!
    But this wasn't the only time.

    I made this today witha blend of 85% chocolate and 75%..fabulous.. topped with whipped cream.Not as thick as the one in the foto.. I prefer to drink my hot chocolate.

  4. Brett,
    LEt me know how it turns out and what chocolate anc cocoa you use!
    I will be back in MArch.. teaching at Ramekins in Sonoma!