Bryn has been requesting hot chocolate for a few weeks now because it just seeeeeems so Christmas-y.
Yeah, well, all right and good, but really? In South Florida? You don't drink hot chocolate because it is SO. DANG. HOT. ALL. YEAR. LONG.
Yes, I've told friends, and now I will share with you. I am the curmudgeon walking out of my house on January 15, when blizzards are socking in much of the north, when gray hangs over the great mass of states...you know, up there (picture me vaguely waving my hand...), I am that person who squints into the hot sun and mutters through clenched teeth, "I cannot believe that it is 84 degrees and sunny. AGAIN." Then I turn the A/C cooler, run to my air-conditioned car and try not to sweat.
But today? Today I am all smiles. Two nights ago, the temperature plunged 20 degrees in hours. Last night, the temperatures got into the upper 30s. I got to wear flannel PJs. I got to wear my fleece slippers. I got to wear a sweatshirt to the gym, and I got to wear my suede jacket (I look really nice in it, you know).
So when Bryn asked about hot chocolate as we made a Publix stop after the gym, she in a workout cami, me in a t-shirt (I lost the sweat shirt because I was sweating), as we passed Floridians bundled up against this "frost-bite weather," when she asked? I said yes.
And you didn't think I was going to let packets of powdered milk and fake chocolate grace the one cup of hot cocoa I might consume the entire year, did you? No, I didn't think so. I bought good bittersweet chocolate, heated up milk enriched with a little heavy cream I happen to have left over from the baking...stirred in the broken up chocolate until I had real cocoa. Then I put my feet up in those fleece slippers and enjoyed. (Yes, the title is long, I know, but I can't help myself.)
Real Hot Cocoa for the Only Day in S. Florida You Get to Drink Cocoa
2 cups milk
1/4 cup cream
2-3 ounces good quality hot chocolate broken into pieces.
In a heavy-bottomed pan, start to heat the milk. As it starts to steam, stir in the chocolate, and continue stirring over the heat until chocolate is completely melted. Pour. Enjoy.