Strong hot chocolate

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Pastry chef Elizabeth Falkner developed this recipe for hot chocolate to be a cross between that favorite winter drink and chocolate sauce. She says it also has enough body to take on a shot of brandy or whiskey for an adult take on this drink.

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From pastry chef Elizabeth Falkner her Strong Hot Chocolate seen in this Sunday, Dec. 2, 2007 photo, is great for the cold winter days ahead.  Associated Press
Associated Press
From pastry chef Elizabeth Falkner her Strong Hot Chocolate seen in this Sunday, Dec. 2, 2007 photo, is great for the cold winter days ahead.

STRONG HOT CHOCOLATE

Start to finish: 15 minutes

Servings: 4

11/2 cups whole milk

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 vanilla bean

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar

2 ounces bittersweet chocolate (70 percent cacao), coarsely chopped (about 1/2 cup)

1 to 3 grains fleur de sel (French sea salt)

8 marshmallows (or whipped cream)

Off the heat, in a 1-quart saucepan, combine the milk and cream. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and use the tip of your knife to scrape the seeds into the saucepan, then add the scraped pod.

Whisk the cocoa powder and brown sugar into the milk, then place the saucepan over medium heat and whisk for 5 to 7 minutes, or until frothy and simmering.

Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Remove and discard the vanilla pod from the milk mixture, then pour the mixture over the chocolate. Add the salt and whisk until the chocolate is smooth.

Divide the hot chocolate among cups and top each with 2 marshmallows or a dollop of whipped cream. Can be cooled, tightly covered and refrigerated up to 3 days.

Recipe from Elizabeth Falkner's Demolition Desserts (Ten Speed Press, 2007, $35)


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