9.12.06

It´s beginning to look like hot chocolate



The Christmas decorations at my parents´ house went up yesterday. We always do it on the 8th, a national holiday, and a very good day to start spreading the Yuletide spirit.

Chez moi all you will see are a couple of rows of small twinkly lights, but my mother´s approach is of the take no prisoners sort. There´s a tree, several kilometers of garlands, mistletoe, and of course a sprawling Nativity scene with at least a hundred figures. There´s a dancing Santa Claus, ribbons for the front door, an advent calendar, and for some reason a pink fish and a glittery monkey have joined the throng.

The thing to do is to listen to silly music, fight over who gets to put the star on top of the tree, and decide who´s luckier, according to the importance of the Nativity figures we pull out first. Then, after all the pieces of newspaper, stray bits of ribbon, broken figurine arms and tiny plastic pigs have all been put in the trash, it´s time for a cup of hot chocolate.

The Spanish version, as sold in bars and chocolaterías to accompany a side of churros is a thick sweet gloop, eaten with a spoon, and tasting only remotely of cocoa. When you buy a bar of chocolate "a la taza" you´re buying something that has a lot of flour or cornstarch, or both. Which is why I advise you to stay clear of the chocolate a la taza bars, and go instead for Lindt´s cooking chocolate, or Valrhona, if you can find it.

I make a frenchified version, made with 1250 ml of whole milk, 250 gr of 70% chocolate, a teaspoonful of cornstarch ( I am a Spanish, after all), a piece of cinammon, and no sugar.
It´s dark, velvety and strong, perfect for dunking sweet cake, biscuits, churros or even roscón. If you have a plateful of migas to go alongside, then you will be very close to heaven.

9 comentarios:

Anónimo dijo...

Merry Xmas!!!!!!!!!! Juanita.

rachelk dijo...

Hi Ximena,
Delurking to ask-I have always used the prepackaged mixes before when I want it Spanish style, so I was excited to see your little formula-do you just mix all the ingredients together on the stove and cook until the chocolate melts?
Thanks so much for sharing through your blog!

Ellie dijo...

Ooooh, I like the idea of a not-so-sweet intense chocolate that I can enjoy with a little cookie - this is much better than those awful powder/sugar mixes you get here, yuk!

lobstersquad dijo...

Juanita, feliz Navidad to you too!
Rachelk: yes, you stir everything until the chocolate melts. The only mildly tricky thing is to avoid lumps with the cornstarch, but it shouldn´t happen if you stir a little. For real Spanish style, add a bit more cornstarch.
Ellie: it´s dark and brooding, you won´t want two cups. I love it.

lindy dijo...

Lovely without additional sugar, and a Lindt "Excellence" bar. I melted the chocolate in the microwave...one of the few tasks the thing is good for, besides reheating cooked food. I just crumbled the bar in a pyrex cup, zapped it for 1-2 minutes (kept a careful eye-until it was almost melted) and stirred out any remaining lumps.

It's damn cold here, this is just so nice.

kickpleat dijo...

this sounds decadent and lovely! cornstarch, eh? i never would have thought! the addition certainly would pump up my skim milk. i'm definitely trying this one...and we put up our tree last night! hooray!!

Anónimo dijo...

Heeeaveeen, I´minheeeaveeeeeeen, tariroriroraaaaaa....I smell it from here!

Carmen Muguiro dijo...

Yo soy de las de "chocolate con leche" así que mi preferido es 200 gramos de tableta de "chocolate a la taza" triturada para 1 litro de leche entera, 9 minutos, temp. 90º en la Thermomix. Comprendo que a los amantes del chocolate les parezca un sacrilegio pero para mí es perfecto y además yo sí lo he probado com migas (y me parece que tu padre tambien).

Anónimo dijo...

This sounds divine, I went to a chocoleteria in Melbourne last weekend that sold churros and dipping chocolate. Although I would love to try the authentic version someday! Yum!

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