an anniversary or Valentine's Day. It might even be perfect for an ordinary Friday night -- the kind of Friday night that hits you after a long, hard week. The kind of Friday night where you want to eat pasta dripping in olive oil, with fat chunks of roasted squash and fried sage. The kind of Friday night where you watch mindless tv because it feels so decadent, and make drinking chocolate, and pull shortbread cookies from the freezer only because the meal you had just wasn't enough (even though it should have been).
I find myself craving sugar and caffeine all the time right now. I'm completely restless with stress and excitement over the book (I got my first review!) and I'm working very intensely on three big projects. I'm trying to cut it out, to quit thinking about new things to bake and my mounting cake craving. Sometimes it works, other times it doesn't. But I'll tell you what, when there's a mid-afternoon chocolate beast that must be filled, this drinking chocolate -- served hot or cold -- sure hits the spot.
It's called drinking chocolate, because it makes regular old hot chocolate seem like a silly gateway drink. This stuff is a mix of heavy cream, milk, melted chocolate, vanilla, and a pinch of salt. The day after I made it, when I was scooping it, spoonful by spoonful, from the fridge I though it tasted just like melty chocolate ice cream. Then I realized it is, essentially, melted chocolate ice cream that just missed the freezing step.
Next time I might add cinnamon, or not. I'm really trying to focus on what I've got, and remember that no matter what happens next, this is more than good enough.
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups whole milk
1 cup whipping cream
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Combine sugar and salt in the top of a double boiler. Slowly whisk in the milk, scraping the bottom and sides with a heatproof spatula to incorporate. Place over gently simmering water and stir occasionally. After about 10 minutes, when the milk is warm, but not boiling, add the chocolate. Continue stirring for about 2 to 4 minutes, or until the chocolate is melted and smooth and the drinking chocolate is warm but not scalding. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
2. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer (or skip this part and serve straight into individual cups.)
P.S. Are you interested in a book giveaway? Or perhaps a gift that comes with proof of pre-order? Say yes, please in the comments and I'll get to work.