Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Melted Hot Chocolate With Sea Salt Whipped Cream


Up until a few days ago, the best hot chocolate I'd ever had was in Spain. My junior year of college I studied abroad in Europe and did some traveling while I was there, and since I'm mildly obsessed with planning, I spent much of my free time reading guidebooks and travel guides about the various cities we were planning to visit. Before we arrived in Barcelona, I remember reading about this little chocolate shop called Cacao Sampaka, and how their rich and decadent hot chocolates could not be rivaled by even the finest and most renowned chocolatiers. So of course, I had to go.


I walked in and the first thing that hit me was the smell. That buttery, nutty, cocoa smell. It was hard to decide on which cocoa to order (they even had a spicy one!) but I love dark chocolate so I went with the version that had the highest percentage of cacao. Several minutes later they brought out a mug of very, very dark and thick liquid. It was not piping hot, but it was warmer than warm, and I leaned forward and took a sip  of the richest, most chocolatey hot chocolate I'd ever had. After I inhaled my drink, I wandered around the store in a fuzzy chocolate high and ended up purchasing much more chocolate than my budget at the time realistically allowed. While browsing the shelves I noticed that they sold teensy chocolate chips that were to be melted down and mixed with a bit of milk to make their  hot chocolate at home, and that's when I realized what made that hot chocolate so good. It was literally mostly melted chocolate.


At the time I didn't buy that little bag of chocolate chips, but I've been wanting to recreate that hot chocolate for years now. During these past few winter months I've found myself craving chocolate even more often than I normally do, so I decided that this was the moment to carpe socolata, aka seize the chocolate. I melted down some baker's chocolate in the top of a double boiler, whisked in some honey and hot milk, and topped it with a sea salt chocolate whipped cream. (Yep, I put chocolate in the whipped cream, too. And it was AMAZING.) The hot chocolate slowly melted the bottom of the whipped cream island and made the whole drink slightly salty. The melted chocolate added the best thick and velvety texture, and created a richness and intensity of flavor that you just cannot get from using a powdered cocoa base.


The best part is that it takes all of 15 minutes to throw together, and most of that time is spend standing by the mixer while the liquid cream becomes whipped cream. I made them on two occasions this past weekend because they were just that darn good. The recipe below makes two servings of hot chocolate, it is very rich so I kept the portions small (think espresso cup size). But, if you're especially hungry you can feel free to double it and ingest a wonderfully decadent amount of chocolate.



Ingredients:


Sea Salt Chocolate Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus extra for sprinkling

Melted Hot Cocoa

8 Squares (4 ounces) Dark 100% Cocoa Baker's Chocolate
2 Squares (1 ounce) Semi-Sweet Baker's Chocolate
2-4 teaspoons honey, depending on how sweet or bitter you like your chocolate
3/4 Cup Whole Milk, at room temperature 


Begin by preparing the sea salt whipped cream. Beat the cream and sugar in an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment at medium high speed until the cream holds a very soft peak. Gently whisk in the sea salt and cocoa powder until incorporated. Cover and set aside.

To make the hot cocoa, melt down the chocolate pieces in the top of a double boiler, stirring constantly. Add the honey and milk and continue stirring until it's one fluid mixture and becomes very warm. Evenly distribute the cocoa between two serving glasses and top with the whipped cream and a pinch of sea salt for garnish. Serve immediately.






56 comments:

  1. My friend and I visited the BEST churros place on Sunday, where we ordered churros and the friendly waiters promptly made us change our order, because "this is better," as he put it. We were good sports and went along with it--he gave us cream cheese guava and dulce de leche churros--but since we were such a smiley pair and because we didn't end up getting the chocolate we wanted, he gave us FREE, authentic Spanish hot chocolates. Your photographs look just like them, and deliciously rich to boot. That was the best hot chocolate I've ever had, so I'm dying to recreate these now as well. Thanks so much for sharing this!

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    1. You are so welcome!! And that is so awesome that he gave you guys the authentic one, I just love it when restaurants are generous and let you try a little something extra free of charge :) Spanish hot chocolate is just the best, I wish that hot chocolate packets had tiny chocolate chips in them instead of powder. It would make instant hot cocoa sooooo much tastier....

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  2. Sea salt chocolate whip and melted chocolate?! I love you.

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  3. I love dark chocolate hot chocolate and adding sea salt is a great idea. I am pinning this rightnow.

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing, Dixya! I appreciate it :)

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  4. That whipped cream is now going to occupy my thoughts for the foreseeable future. I'm going to have to give that a try!

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    1. Hahaha, thanks lady!! Let me know what you think :)

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  5. The best churros and chocolate I ever had was in Spain. I can't WAIT to make this!

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    1. Spain: the land of chocolate. <- If I was the marketing director for Spain's tourism board I would totally make that the new slogan. Spain has the best hot chocolate, hands down. Let me know how it comes out for you when you make it :D

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  6. Your photos are stunning! I cannot wait to explore your blog further!

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    1. Thank you so much Elizabeth!! I am so glad you found this space :) Have fun perusing around!!

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  7. totally looks like decadence in a cup - yum

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  8. Oh my lord, I am beyond words obsessed with this recipe and these photos. (My Pinterest just threw up dark chocolate all over everyone's newsfeeds.) Absolutely gorgeous -- that whipped cream is beyond. Thank you so much for posting, Eva!

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    1. Hahaha, thank you so much Cynthia!!! I am so happy you're enjoying it :)

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  9. CHOCOLATE! This sounds like the best possible thing to put in your mouth after a long afternoon out in the cold. Super rich and warm and comforting.

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    1. Definitely!! You will love it, Eileen. So tasty and comforting :)

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  10. Holy god. I mean, salted hot chocolate from a legit melted chocolate base is decadent, for sure. I've never tried it because I'm afraid it will be too rich for me. BUT THE SALTED CHOCOLATE WHIPPED CREAM?!?! My brain is exploding. That's, like, the best frickin idea ever. I'm trying to come up with a witty statement in the line of "the icing on the cake" here, but this is like wrapping the cake in 24K gold leaf. I just can't even. I love this so much.

    We went down to Portland (you know, the one in Maine!) this last weekend, and all I can ever do when we go to Portland is read about it's shops and restaurants and everything on my phone on the way there. And then we get there and I look stuff up on the street, in stores...I just can't stop reading about the place. So...I feel you. But we ended up in this place I had never heard of that mixes these fancy sodas with bitters and herbal infusions and shrubs and CHOCOLATE SIMPLE SYRUP. It was really neat. I didn't even get to read about it before we went there! I was way scared, but I had a delicious blueberry, mint and honey soda. Kevin wanted me to learn some lesson about how spontaneity is great, but he's been trying to teach me that for years and it's not going to happen. I'll call it a lucky break :)

    Hope things are well!

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    1. Thank you Brianne!! It was amazing, I would drink it everyday if it weren't so full of tasty, tasty calories. That trip to Portland sounds so fun!! I have always wanted to go to the other Portland, especiallllllly after hearing you describe that awesome soda shop. Seriously, a blueberry, mint and honey soda????? This place sounds like HEAVEN. It must be packed in the summertime. Sometimes the spur-of-the-moment places can be the most fun of all, especially when it comes to food. When I'm on trips (aside from the planned dining experiences) I usually follow my nose, if I walk by a place that smells ridiculously awesome, I'll go inside and get a bit of whatever they're making. It almost always pans out! Except in the case of the taco stand that used to be by my house. It always smelled good but when I got their "taco", it was just ground beef with taco seasoning. Where were the carnitas??? It was a sad day. They ended up moving, though, and now an authentic taco stand is in their place, full of a delicious variety of Mexican meats and seafood. Are there any Mexican places that far north in Maine? I always wondered what the ethnic food scene was like up there in the NE.

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    2. Goo, sorry I missed this! There is a disgusting dearth of Mexican food in this state. It's totally humiliating. There's one place between the town I live in and Portland that is pretty legit, but beyond that it's either not authentic enough or it's trying too hard. So...we make our carnitas at home :) But there's a good German place in Portland, a few African restaurants in different towns, and there are some killer sushi restaurants here. The best one is just down the road from my house!

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  11. Gaaaah how can I do anything else before I make this? Why do I not keep dark baker's chocolate in my freezer??

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    1. Hahaha, you will just have to make a run out to the store and pick some up :)

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  12. Great photos. I bet they took you more than 15 minutes!
    This looks so so SO good.

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    1. Hahaha, yes, it definitely took me more than 15 to style and shoot. That is usually more time consuming than making the actual dishes themselves hehe :) But I enjoy it almost as much as I enjoy cooking, so it works out well!

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  13. Deeeeeeeeeelissshhhhhhh! I come to you via Eluzabeth at Pinecones and Acorns. So glad I did and now have some catch up reading to do. Wonderful blog!
    Di
    xoxo

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    1. Oh thank you so much!!! I am so glad she referred you over here :D and I am even more glad that you're enjoying the little space I have created :) Welcome!

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  14. I need to try this, look so good in a wet day :)

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    1. Thank you so much Toto! It is perfect for curling up inside on a rainy day, especially if there's a fireplace nearby :)

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  15. Looks wonderful, Billy. Whole milk makes a world of difference. Stunning photos, too!

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    1. Agreed! Whole milk makes a huuuge difference with hot chocolate. And thank you so much for the compliment! :)

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  16. You take amazing pictures girl! And for one am a chocolate lover if there ever was one. Looks so amazingly refreshing!

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  17. This literally sounds like it would kill me with happiness.

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  18. Stunning photos! Can I ask what lens you shot these with? Thanks!

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    1. Thank you Sarah! I shot these with a 50mm 1.8 and a 35mm 1.4 :)

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  19. You know the way to my heart. And now I want to go to Barcelona...

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    1. Meee tooooooooo!!! Spain was so amazing, I've been wanting to go back there for ages....especially or the Paella :D

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  20. hot chocolate is the only reason i tolerate cold weather. :)

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  21. Aww, this looks so perfect! It makes my mouth water. The pictures are just amazing!

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  22. just made this with almond milk....fabulous!!

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  23. I'm making this next weekend for a marriage retreat the Mister and I are going on. Is it unsweetened chocolate for the 100% or is there a dark chocolate that is that high in %?

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  24. These photos are the best food photos I think I have ever seen.

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  25. Ok these must be the most decadent, perfect, amazing hot chocolate photos (or any beverage photos!!) I have ever seen! When somebody who loves chocolate as much as I do see something like this... wow heaven, now I won't be able to stop thinking about this hot chocolate until I make one...

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  26. This is the definition of decadence, my god this looks so so amazing I am having a hard time scrolling away from these gorgeous photos.

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  27. Stunning pictures, amazing beautiful work of art! besides the wonderful recipe the pictures of your blog blow my mind.. thank you for sharing

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  28. It looks so tasty! Like a piece of Heaven!

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  29. Wow, that looks reaally yummy!

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  30. Perfect, just in time for mine depression <3

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  31. Just love chocolate-chocolates :*

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  32. Thanks for the idea ;)

    and Mia watch for your hips :P

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  33. Amazing. Simply amazing. Terrific pictures. Would love to try it out!

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