It’s raining again in New York City today, and the temperature is beginning to drop. Summer has officially been over for weeks now, and my cravings are beginning to change from something refreshing to something heart-warming. I have started ordering hot coffee instead of iced at my usual breakfast hang outs, and it’s not long until I will be preparing the ultimate comfort drink, hot chocolate, over my own stove. Thanks to the new Hot Chocolate book by Michael Turback, I will have plenty of new recipes to try over the long winter season. Hot Chocolate features a collection of recipes from famous chefs around the world. Recipes range from nostalgic to modern, and the only powder you will find mentioned are ground spices like cinnamon, cardamom, cayenne pepper and cloves.
The book begins with an introduction to hot chocolate, challenging every American to slow down and appreciate the pleasures of the real thing. You will learn tips and tricks for preparing the perfect hot chocolate, including how to let your cup acquire wisdom and grace through resting. According to the book, you should never drink hot chocolate immediately after making it, but rather you should let it rest and cool uncovered, and then reheat it while stirring. When the mixture cools down the chocolate crystallizes, improving the drinks creamy, velvety texture.
Once you have learned the proper techniques, you will be left with the impossible task of deciding which hot chocolate to try first. With such a wide range of recipes available, there is guaranteed to be something for everyone. You can relive your childhood through decadent recipes like the Triple Hot Chocolate Obsession from Flour Bakery and Frrrozen Hot Chocolate from Serendipity 3. If you’re in the mood for something more mature, the For Adults Only chapter will give you recipes for hot chocolate with a kick, like the Samuel Adams Adult Hot Chocolate from the Boston Beer Company, Saki-Wasabi Hot Chocolate from Sushi Samba and Maple-Whiskey Chocolate Hot Toddy from Linda Grisham Chocolates. Ancient twists, like the aptly named Life-in-a-Cup Hot Chocolate from Senor Fred, are also available as a tribute to the drink’s Mayan roots.
by Michael Turback
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
$9.95 at Amazon.com