English people have afternoon tea, Americans love their mugs of coffee, while we Italians enjoy hot chocolate as an afternoon treat, sometimes accompanied by a piece of homemade cake. Drinking hot chocolate brings me back to my childhood, when my mon prepared it for me once in a while in winter after I returned home from school. The most common topping is whipped cream but there are many variations: coffee, caramel, coconut and chili pepper are also some of the ingredients that can be added to it. Did you know that hot Italian chocolate is different from, for example the American hot chocolate? It is densely irresistible! If you prefer it more liquid, add less potato starch. When you try it, you will never go back to the one you were used to. It is easy to get addicted it to. It is filling, though, so I would suggest drinking it in small tea cups rather than large mugs.
Hot chocolate has been around for a long time; in fact, in the sixteenth century the Aztecs introduced this sweet drink to the Europeans, and it was first enjoyed among the nobles of the old continent. Only a few centuries later hot chocolate became very popular. and it is still one of the most popular drinks, appreciated all over the world.
Chocolate is very tasty and, in moderation, is healthy too.
Check all its benefits.
CIOCCOLATA CALDA ITALIANA (HOT ITALIAN CHOCOLATE)
400 ml (1 2/3 cups) whole milk
60 g (1/2 heaping cup) cocoa powder
13 g (1 scarce tablespoon) potato starch
2 tablespoons brown sugar
28 g (1 oz) dark chocolate (70%)
Whipping cream (optional)
1. In a saucepan mix the dried ingredients: cocoa powder, potato starch and brown sugar
2. Add the milk and mix with a whisk until completely dissolved
3. Bring to simmer over a medium-low heat, stirring with the whisk. Cook for a few minutes until it reaches a pudding-like thickness, 2 to 3 minutes
4. In a double boiler melt the chocolate
5. Add the chocolate to the hot chocolate and keep stirring with the whisk
6. Serve immediately with some whipped cream if you like. Whipped cream is optional, I prefer my hot chocholate plain. It is important to serve immediately and hot, otherwise it will gel somewhat. – Paola