When I was a teenager, I went on a school-sponsored trip to Paris and London. My best friend, who had planned to come with me, ended up not going, for reasons I don’t really remember now. Although I knew the other students there, I wasn’t really friends with any of them, and I didn’t socialize with them much. As a result, I often got to eat breakfast alone — and the breakfasts I ate alone in the Paris hotel were possibly the best part of my trip.
The hotel had small, nondescript cafe tables in the lobby, in front of open French doors that looked into a small courtyard garden. And every morning, for almost a week, I sat at one of those tables and had a plain croissant with a cup of hot chocolate. One day, I tried a chocolate croissant instead, and that was way too much chocolate for me. The plain one was just right. I sometimes took postcards with me to fill out, but it was mostly a ruse so I could be left alone to enjoy this meal in peace, because all I really wanted to do was eat that buttery, flaky croissant and drink the thick, bittersweet hot chocolate. To this day, those breakfasts rank among the best meals of my life.
Now, I’m not even going to try to make croissants on my own. That’s just kooky talk. I would, however, like to try and make hot chocolate like that. I’ve Googled multiple variations of France, French, hot, chocolate, and recipe, but I haven’t seen anything that seems quite right. I’ve also tried just melting some good chocolate and adding milk, but that wasn’t quite right either. It needs to be thick but not undrinkably so, creamy, and sweetened somewhere between milk and semisweet chocolate.
Suggestions? Recipes? Are all doors in France considered French doors?