French hot chocolate?

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?

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7 thoughts on “French hot chocolate?

  1. Use a mugful of whole milk per serving. Heat it up in a pan and let it come just to a boil.

    Add 2 t/serving of Valrhona cocoa powder & 2 t/serving sugar (or to taste) to your mug(s) with a little of the milk, and stir until it’s pasty. Add the rest of the milk slowly into each mug and stir well to get out any lumps.

    This is from Joie de Vivre – I liked it enough to copy the recipe. Perhaps you’ve tried this already?

  2. No, I haven’t tried that one — I knew I shoud have picked up that copy of Joie de Vivre I saw last weekend.

    So, cocoa powder and not ground chocolate? I’ll try it!

  3. When are we doing knittingmeetup again, Kristen? I’ll bring you some of my french hot chocolate mix (the ground chocolate kind) so you can see if you like it… it’s spiced, unfortunately, but you should be able to get a sense of whether or not it’s the right alleyway to pursue.

  4. I’ve been meeting up with [lj user=crazykimmy] over at Rock Center on Thursdays for the last week or two — oh, wait, are Thursdays no good for you? I should just post this over in the knitting community. Anyway, I’d totally love to try the mix you have, spiced or not.

  5. Two words: Grey’s Anatomy. *shamefaced* I know, I KNOW, but… I’m addicted!!! And Rock Center is in the wrong direction from my house…

    If I get out early (before 6:30) on Thursday I will try to stop by for an hourish, maybe…

  6. I can’t speak for Kimmy (Kim? Kimberly?) but I’m not wedded to Thursday nights. I’ll post over there tomorrow and see what shakes out.

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