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Monday
Oct082012

Bad Hot Chocolate, Awesome Book Giveaway

Worst Hot Chocolate Ever

Yesterday, I had a really terrible hot chocolate. I mean awful.

It was surprising because it was at a cafe where the food is quite good. It was on the menu, for $3.50, advertised as "hot chocolate with whipped cream". Yum.

But when it was delivered, there were some things wrong.

First, there was no whipped cream.

Second, it was made with a mix. Already bad enough, but to add insult to injury, it was improperly mixed, and still lumpy.

Third, it was made with water, not milk. Gross!

So, I sent it back. They were apologetic and offered to re-make it...but I declined. And I got to thinking: what makes a really good hot chocolate? Is it the chocolate itself? The milk? The temperature? The texture? Well, kind of all of the above. For me, it's a rich drinking chocolate like I had at Cafe Angelina in Paris.

What about you? What is your ideal hot chocolate? 

Real Snacks

Feel free to chime in, and you'll be entered to win a copy of this AWESOME book by Lara Ferroni entitled Real Snacks: Make Your Favorite Childhood Treats Without All the Junk. I'm a huge fan of Lara's work, and also love her previous recipe book, Doughnuts: Simple and Delicious Recipes to Make at Home.

This time, she's back with homemade versions of popular snack treats. Sweet and savory. Some examples:

Cereal Bars Animal Crackers

I do believe I spied a unicorn on those pages! 

OK. So, to review: 

Leave a comment telling me about what makes the ideal hot chocolate, in your opinion (is it from a place? Made with heavy cream, at home? Or perhaps it's just Swiss Miss? I'm curious!). And on October 15 at 5pm EST, I will choose one lucky winner (at random) to get a copy of this great new book by Lara Ferroni. Due to the price of shipping overseas, I can only open this one to US residents.

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Reader Comments (57)

i typically don't drink soy milk...but one time - on a whim - i order hot chocolate with soy milk, and it was THE BEST, thick, fluffy, and chocolatey hot chocolate i've ever had!
October 9 | Unregistered Commenterjessica
The ideal hot chocolate it white chocolate (I know, that's really weird/wrong!) and supersweet. Marshmallows or whipped cream are always a plus.
October 9 | Unregistered CommenterCaley
Omigosh, look at that sad thing! That's a cup of nothing right there!

For me, the ideal hot chocolate is as dark, thick, and spicy as possible: In fact, I prefer drinking chocolate with tons of cinnamon and chile to traditional Swiss Miss-y types of chocolate. Oh heavens, how I love warm melted chocolate...

This book looks awesome! I'm going to have to check it out one way or the other. Thanks, CakeSpy!
When I make it at home it is Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Chocolate with a drop of vanilla, plus whole milk, whipped cream and dark chocolate shavings on the top.
October 9 | Unregistered CommenterAndi
White Hot Chocolate! With whipped cream...is that an abomination?! :)
October 9 | Unregistered CommenterAnna Cast
Hot chocolate has to have milk or cream. Just water is NOT an option. This makes the texture creamy, thick & frothy and not just raw and boiled.
October 9 | Unregistered CommenterKarly W
I will join the chorus of commenters saying milk is necessary for good hot chocolate. I don't have one set way of making mine - I like to experiment with different methods! My favorite of the moment is to heat the cocoa and sugar with just a little water until they are thoroughly dissolved into a thick syrup. Then I slowly add milk and let it heat up again. Delicious! To shake things up, I sometimes add cinnamon. Or whiskey!
October 9 | Unregistered CommenterHeatherN
The perfect version is a thick hot chocolate on a cold winter day.
October 9 | Unregistered Commenterstylefriendly
When it comes to hot chocolate, City Bakery in NY has my heart.... dark, seductively rich, and sooo satisfying on a deep level. *sigh*
October 9 | Unregistered CommenterKellie
Made with milk instead of water and lots and lots of marshmellows.. i even like to put a but of fluff in when i dont have marshmellow :)
October 9 | Unregistered CommenterJodi Hall
A great hot chocolate includes a shot of butterscotch schnapps and topped with a dash of cinnamon!
October 9 | Unregistered CommenterPam P.
I make Hot Chocolate with my Keurig maker. While I agree that hot cocoa is better made with milk, I have been adding Baileys Toffee Almond Creamer to my Dark Hot Chocolate k-cups. Boy oh boy is it yummy!!!! Add a little mini marshmallows and you have a special treat!!
October 9 | Unregistered CommenterAngela
Definitely homemade with milk, and whipped cream!!!
October 9 | Unregistered CommenterDonna
My new favorite is hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps!! YUM!!
October 9 | Unregistered CommenterJulia
Call me crazy, but I am a sucker for Swiss miss with half and half topped with marshmallows.
October 9 | Unregistered CommenterMichelleV
big fat marshmallows in rich chocolate!
October 9 | Unregistered CommenterTK
Defintely good quality chocolate (milk chocolate specifically) and I like mine with marshmallow. It reminded me when I was kid, my mom made me chocolate with marshmallow on top. =)
October 10 | Unregistered CommenterCarmen Lo
Hot chocolate in my home is whole milk, whisked until frothy, a spoonful of sugar, a spoonful of malt powder, and the best dark chocolate I have on hand. I like it topped with cold cold whipped cream whipped into stiff peaks. I love that hot/cold contrast. I do think hot cocoa is a totally different but also delicious option . . . I like Droste cocoa, the way my mom made it for me when I was a kid.
October 10 | Unregistered CommenterAlexandra
I don't remember the name of the cafe, but my hands-down favorite hot chocolate I've ever had was at a sidewalk cafe in Paris. It must have been made with real chunks of chocolate and heavy cream, and was sinfully rich and thick and not-too-sweet. I accidentally ordered two servings of it, which came in a large-ish pot and cost me 13 euros, but I didn't regret the extra calories or cost, because it made my people-watching and jet-lag-recovery twice as enjoyable.
October 10 | Unregistered Commenterstatgirl
I love a rich homemade hot chocolate, made with cocoa powder, sugar, and whole milk. And mini marshmallows on top, of course!
October 10 | Unregistered Commentershannon
The best hot chocolate can be found on the streets of Spain. It is served warm and has almost a pudding like consistency. It is served to accompany a very special treat: The fresh, hot and dazzling cinnamon ladden churro..... THE BEST.
October 10 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa C.
Must be milk based, smooth, good quality chocolate, and either melting marshmallows or a nice bite of sea salt and caramel. A nice cold day to drink it on doesn't hurt either.
October 10 | Unregistered Commenterlaurs
My favorite hot chocolate is Swiss Miss dark chocolate sensation with a shot of Godiva liqueur - any flavor. It's a real hit with guests after dinner during the winter months.
October 10 | Unregistered CommenterKaren
swiss mix after a really long cold day outside or with a good book with a bunch of wipcream and mini marshmallows
thick, with DARK chocolate - and a pinch of cayenne!
October 10 | Unregistered Commentermbb

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