Simply Perfect Hot Chocolate

Do you ever get a craving for hot chocolate?  I know I do - and it starts as soon as the weather starts to cool down, the days get shorter and the rains begin to fall incessantly - beating heavily against my windows as they are now, slapping and dripping against what is left of the leaves on the trees and reminding me that we are approaching the seasonal change from Autumn into Winter.

I love chocolate - dark chocolate - so the drinkable version is really something to smile about.  Of course you can buy a can of powdered hot chocolate mix from your favorite store, add water or milk, heat, stir, and be perched on your sofa with a steaming mug of hot chocolate in just a few minutes.  It might even make you fairly happy.

But not as happy as this chocolate decadence - and you probably already have all of the ingredients you need in order to make it in your house.  I'll post a recipe for Homemade Marshmallows later, but for now, get yourself started with this.

Serves two, or just you all by yourself with a good book and one big steaming cup filled to the brim.  Who could blame you?  You may just owe it to yourself...

Simply Perfect Hot Chocolate

2 cups / 4 dl of milk (I use 2% / kevytmaito)
2 heaping tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
1 oz / 25g dark chocolate, grated or chopped very fine (I use a Microplane)
1 heaping tablespoon of brown sugar / farina sokeri
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (if you are using vanilla sugar, start with one teaspoon and taste, adding more if needed)
1 pinch of sea salt (use your fingers to pinch the right amount)

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan.  Heat over medium heat, stirring briskly with a wire whisk, until the chocolate is well incorporated and the mixture begins to steam.  Taste.  Add a little more brown sugar if the mixture is not sweet enough for you.  Divide into two small mugs.  Top with a Homemade Marshmallows if desired.  If you can't find marshmallows, then a dollop of whipped cream or a spoonful of vanilla ice cream make mighty fine stand-ins.


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