Friday, 24 July 2009
What makes a good hot chocolate:
1. Real chocolate. Sounds like a no-brainer but your average cafe hot chocolate is a bit of chocolate syrup, cocoa powder and frothed milk. Hardly hardcore enough for most chocolate lovers.
2. Normally, a thicker consistency than 'hot milk with cocoa'. Think the consistency of a thin custard. It is said that a truly good hot chocolate isn't good unless it's so thick, you can stand your spoon in it. Here's a hit list of three to try this winter:
1. Boon Chocolates 251 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst Creamy, luxurious, unctuous. This 'lil chocolate shop might be relatively new on the scene, but they certainly know about all things chocolate. Choose from dark, milk or mocha options.
The damage: At $7.50 it isn't the cheapest of the bunch, but the quality of the chocolate really shines through.
2. Lindt Cafe 104 - 105 Cockle Bay Wharf, Sydney NSW and 53 Martin Place, Sydney NSW One of the most popular hot chocolates in Sydney, according to the Twittersphere. Aside from the extra chocolate shavings, there is the added bonus of having a great macaron, cake and chocolate selection at your fingertips (and tastebuds).
The damage: $6.50 dine in, $5.00 takeaway (large) $4.50 (regular)
3. Our Place 225 Darling Street, Balmain Perhaps a little smaller than you're used to seeing hot chocolate served, it's because good things often do come in small packages. Super concentrated and silky on the palate, Owner Mario uses imported Italian chocolate, giving inner westies a taste la dolce vita.
The damage: Just $4.00
A recipe to try:
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon arrowroot
1 tablespoon sugar
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate (at least 70 percent cacao), chopped 2 to 4 strips orange zest for garnish
1. In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of milk with the arrowroot, whisking until smooth.
2. Place the remaining 1/2 cup of milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer. When the half-and-half begins to bubble around the edges, whisk in the sugar. Whisk in the arrowroot mixture until the mixture thickens slightly, usually less than a minute.
3. Remove from the heat and quickly whisk in the chocolate until smooth.
4. Pour into cups, top each with a piece of orange zest, and serve immediately. For a variation with kick, when heating the milk, drop in half a chilli, de-seeded.
Recipe courtesy of Epicurious. Image from Live Certified Organic