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FOOD TIP OF THE DAY: Gourmet Hot Chocolate

We love those luxury, super-rich hot chocolates that can cost up to $25 a box. Some are simply chopped up bits of fine chocolate, so you can make your own for far less money by chopping up a good chocolate bar. Combine 1 ounce (3 tablespoons) of chopped chocolate with 1 ounce of whole milk in mug. Microwave for 30 seconds and whisk thoroughly to blend. Add another 6 ounces of milk, stir, and heat for 60 seconds. You can use any chocolate: dark, milk, or white, including flavored bars (or add a dash of cinnamon, anise, nutmeg, and chili powder for “Aztec” hot chocolate). You can use chocolate morsels, but the key is, the finer the chocolate, the more delicious the drink. For a richer beverage, don’t use cream: The secret is to add a tablespoon of sweet butter to the milk before you heat it. Don’t try to make luxury hot chocolate with 2% or fat-free milk: The purpose is to enjoy a sumptuous beverage. If you’re cutting back, sugar-free “diet” cocoas are the best route, topped off with some whole milk. Read our reviews of the best diet cocoas, and our reviews of more than 65 gourmet cocoas and hot chocolates, in THE NIBBLE online magazine.   Hot ChocolateBefore you chop up the chocolate bar to make hot chocolate, shave some chocolate curls for garnish.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COCOA AND HOT CHOCOLATE? Cocoa is made from cocoa powder, hot chocolate is made from shaved or ground chocolate bars, or from pistoles, tiny drops of whole chocolate. Hot chocolate is naturally richer, because it contains the cocoa butter that has been removed from cocoa powder.





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