Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Mocha

My midweek-weekend took me on the ferry to my brother's house where I drank too much rum punch, made cupcakes and talked wedding plans with my sister in law. It was terrific.

Coffee and a ferry ride cured my sugar-rum induced headache.

I am reading this book. It is a memoir by David Lebovitz (a blogger/recipe developer/pastry chef.) He talks about living, eating and trying to understand life in France. The book is funny and full of recipes (many of them savory I was surprised to find out.) This morning, with my head pounding, I read about Lebovitz opinion of le chocolat chaud and it reminded me of my own experience with hot chocolate in Paris.

I went to Paris with my uncle when I was sixteen. Back then, I wouldn't drink plain coffee- it was all about mochas for me. I was used to Starbucks chocolate syrup laden "coffee" and you can imagine my surprise when I looked on the menu board at every cafe and found no word even similar to mocha. So, my uncle took to ordering plain coffee and a cup of hot cocoa and I would combine the two. Looking back, I am pretty sure I offended many people with this action. Lebovitz would surly have cringed had he seen me back then.

In my kitchen, however, I can mix coffee and chocolate sans judgement.

Lebovitz recipe for le chocolate chaud, thick and bittersweet drinking chocolate, is the perfect base for a rich mocha.

It looks a little like pudding.

I combined the cocoa with my favorite coffee.

This is a blurry picture of magic happening.

Mochas have to come with whipped cream on top. It is a thing.

You see that whisk? I definitely ate all the whipped cream off of it immediately after snapping the picture.

The whipped cream melts into the coffee-chocolate concoction and when you are drinking it, it is almost impossible to figure out whether the chocolate flavor is being set off by the coffee or if the coffee's flavor is enhanced by the rich cocoa. My kind of paradox.

The Mocha
(makes 6-8 servings)
1 recipe hot chocolate (recipe follows)
6-8 c hot coffee, brewed
whipped cream and cocoa powder for garnish
- - -
1. Make your cocoa
2. While cocoa is simmering, brew your coffee
3. In a mug, pour 1/4 c of cocoa; add 4-6 ounces of coffee stirring to combine the two
4. Garnish with whipped cream and cocoa powder

Hot Chocolate
from The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz
2 c whole milk
5 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
dash of sea salt
- - -
1. In a saucepan, bring milk, chocolate and salt to a boil, whisking frequently (mixture will look grainy but as is warms the chocolate will melt and it will become uniform and smooth)
2. Allow cocoa to simmer for 2-3 minutes (for thicker cocoa cook an additional 1-2 minutes)

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