Belgian Style Homemade Hot-Chocolate

Chocolate chaud
Perhaps my most favorite cup of hot chocolate came from a small cafe in Bruges, Belgium a few years ago. The idea that three grown women can sit around sipping hot chocolate in the rain and laughing all afternoon seems a bit immature from our stoic American attitudes, but it was exactly what I needed that day. The comedy was provided by myself as I took the Belgian chocolates that had melted from the heat of saucer and dipped another chocolate into the soft melted goo. Sarah exclaimed "Liv!!! You're dipping your chocolate in your chocolate!" Yes, Yes I did, and I don't regret a second of it.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • 3/4 cup white sugar 
  • 1 pinch salt 
  • 1/3 cup boiling water 
  • 3 1/2 cups milk 
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half cream 
Directions
Combine the cocoa, sugar and pinch of salt in a saucepan. Blend in the boiling water. Bring this mixture to an slight boil while you stir. Simmer and stir for about 2 minutes. Stir in 3 1/2 cups of milk and heat until very hot, but do not boil! Remove from heat and add vanilla. Divide between four mugs. Add the cream to the mugs of cocoa to cool it to drinking temperature.

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