Tuesday, January 3, 2012

French Hot Chocolate And the Creek

I like winter. I like the melancholy haze in the sky and the focus on being inside; at a pub eating something rich like potato skins and a dark beer, with your winter coat hanging on the back of the chair and your gloves in the pockets. Or curled up in the house on the couch with some hot tea and a new cooking magazine; stretching out while putting your feet in your guy's lap to get warm (if he will let you). Unless it's one of those rare days like we had like last weekend where the temperatures are all bi-polar and there's a warmth to the air and then you feel the need to go outside.

Witt has found several old trash heaps in the woods behind our house. We've found some cool trash like old bottles and tins and then sometime's it's just trash;  faded cans or beer bottles. 

I like Witt's red pants.

Gypsy Slow Down

After I say this you are going to think we live in the country, not on the edge of a busy road. We have seen baby coyotes or wolves playing in the field beside the house. Witt said they were coyotes which is somewhat more comforting than wolves but not really. They had taken a rusty tin can from a trash pile and were batting it back and forth to each other. We found the tin and also a full skeleton (I guess kick the can took a nasty turn ha) in the field as we were walking. Don't know what the animal was but I'm a city girl so this didn't thrill me as much.

Gypsy Slow Down

Gypsy Slow Down

There wasn't much in the trash pile but I did find something I hadn't seen before. I have lived here for almost two years and never knew we had a creek.

It's beautiful in it's own way.

When I lived in Paris my little girls loved going to Angelina's for special occasions; a breathtakingly beautiful cafe that is known for their hot chocolate. French hot chocolate is not to be confused with hot cocoa; which you drink from a big mug with marshmallows floating on top (I like that kind too). French hot chocolate is thick and dark and silky and coats the back of your spoon. You serve it in little white cups, topped with whipped cream and like most portion sizes in France you get a very small amount. Which is all you need since it is so rich (if you leave it in the fridge it will turn into pudding). I think I might have small white cups (the kind that espresso is served in) somewhere from a wedding gift packed up but I used Witt's teacup instead since it's the next best thing. 

Gypsy Slow Down

On a free afternoon, after being outside, it's a perfect treat. Here is my recipe.

French Hot Chocolate (serves 2-4)

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate squares
1 cup heavy whipping cream
5 packets stevia
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
Whipped cream, to top

In a small saucepan, combine chocolate and cream. Heat slowly, stirring until chocolate is melted. If the cream starts to simmer, remove from the stove and continue stirring (if the cream gets too hot, the chocolate will separate). Once the mixture is silky, add the stevia and vanilla. I like a bitter chocolate, so sweeten to taste. Pour into small cups and top with whipped cream. 

C'est tres bon, non?

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