Carmel Coco Delight

September 15, 2010

I think I can say, with confidence, that I just made the world’s best hot chocolate!

Perhaps I should give a little back story before I divulge into my creamy chocolate yumminess.

My husband and I frequently spend time at Barnes and Noble. We have spent many a Sunday reading and sipping lattés at B&N. I love the Starbucks café there. They serve Cheesecake Factory cheesecake and always have my favorite flavor (white chocolate raspberry) in stock. Well last weekend, I had a very intense craving for that cheesecake. After we went to the grocery store to stock up for the week, we stopped to get my cheesecake. I jumped out of the car to make a quick run for my favorite dessert. When I got up to the counter I looked the the pastry case and was shocked to see that my cheesecake was no where to be found. I asked the girl behind the counter where it went and she said it had been replaced with pumpkin cheesecake for the fall. I felt a little piece of myself shed a silent tear. I told her how disappointed I was, but decided to get a piece of the pumpkin cheesecake instead. I looked up and saw they were featuring a new hot chocolate for the fall. It was a carmel hot chocolate. I decided to get one of those as well. I took my cheesecake and hot chocolate back to the car where my husband was waiting for me. I took a sip of my drink and said “This is amazing!” Since my husband is the Ingredient Master, I asked him how he thinks they make it.

For the next couple days I couldn’t stop thinking about this hot chocolate. This morning I decided that I was going to try and make it… from scratch. No hot chocolate mix. No carmel syrup. Hot chocolate is easy enough to make. I make it all the time. Baking cocoa, sugar, and milk… but carmel syrup? I didn’t have the faintest clue what to do. I went to the bookshelf and pulled out my Joy of Cooking cookbook, flipped through the index until I found carmel. I looked at the recipe and read sugar and water. “Well that’s easy”, I thought. I put some water and sugar in a pan and turned the heat on. As I let the sugar dissolve I started questioning myself, as I often do. I went back to the recipe thinking that sugar and water seemed much too easy. Sure enough, there was more to the recipe than what I had originally read. I decided to read it really carefully to make sure I don’t miss anything this time. “Be careful not to let sugar water come to a boil.” Crap. It had been boiling for a good five minutes. I turned the heat down and went back to the book. Add butter and cream. I cut up a little butter, put it in and after it melted and cooked down a little I added a bit of heavy whipping cream. I removed it from the heat and let it set for a couple minutes while I tasted my coco. It was at a good temperature. I poured a little of the carmel mixture into a mug and poured the coco on top. I stirred it up and took a sip. Pure bliss! Let me tell you, Starbucks has got nothing on me. This was creamy, smooth chocolate heaven. I could hear hundreds of tiny little angels gathering around the steamy coco to sing Handel’s Hallelujah chorus in perfect unison.

My only regret was that I didn’t actually measure anything. I just poured the cocoa, sugar, butter, milk, and cream until I felt there was enough. What resulted was a beautiful mixture of sweetness and I hope I can reproduce it in the future.

Live and learn.

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One Response to “Carmel Coco Delight”

  1. Amanda Says:

    Sweet! Literally! Phil made the most AMAZING white chocolate raspberry cheesecake for Valentine’s Day this year! That’s right, so while you were laboring so very hard that weeeknd, we were eating your fav dessert!!!! Hehehehe–how funny!!! It was his first time making a cheesecake ever, and it was as you say, “bliss”. No cracks or imperfections. He did it in a water bath. Isn’t it great having a hubby who is active in the kitchen?! I LOVE it!!!!!


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