Parisian Hot Chocolate

An icy wind is rattling my window this morning, ready to blast me in the face and toss my hair frantically the moment I step out the door.

It reminds me a of a particularly cold, blustery day in Paris when all I wanted was a cup of something warm to wrap my fingers around.

I love Parisian billboards :-)

Garbed in wool and swathed in scarves, Amy and I stepped out into the cold, sunshiny morning. striding past fountains, motorcycles parked willy-nilly, and Parisians nursing tiny cups of espresso in sidewalk cafes. We ducked into a charming little spot with shiny glass cases filled with quiches, tarts and a bevy of salads. Mmm, mmm!

I chose a marvelous quiche chock full of spinach, cheese and roasted chicken, and a piping hot cup of chocolat chaud – real hot chocolate with melted chocolate and foamy steamed milk. Delectable on such a cold morning. Amy found a marvy looking sandwich – smoked salmon, cream cheese and thinly sliced cucumber on a fresh baguette – and a hot cup of tea with milk. We found the perfect perch on wooden bar stools overlooking the street and had our morning dose of people-watching while we visited away and made plans for the day.

Parisian hot chocolate is so different than the lovely little packets of powder and petrified marshmallows we dump into styrofoam cups over here. Those packets are splendid in their own way. Many a camping trip, ski outing and caroling jaunt has been made bearable and delightful by their presence.

Parisian hot chocolate is made with real, dark chocolate, chopped into tiny bits that melt easily into the hot milk. It is served unsweetened and I like that. The steaming beverage is pure chocolatey, milky goodness accompanied by narrow little red envelopes of sugar for each person to sweeten to taste.

Once fortified and warmed by our bevvies and food, Amy and I bundled up again and walked to the Palais Royale to relive scenes from our beloved Audrey Hepburn movie, Charade.

They even had a little black dress exhibition!

I have a stack of dark chocolate I've been hoarding in my pantry. This afternoon I'll be chopping, stirring and sipping while I dream of Paris.

Hot Chocolate
(from Alice Medrich's "bittersweet")
6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 1/2 cups milk

Place the chocolate in a small saucepan. Pour about half of the boiling water over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Stir in the rest of the boiling water and the milk. Heat over medium heat, whisking continuously, until hot but nowhere near boiling (the texture and flavor are both best if the hot chocolate never exceeds 180 degrees F). Serve immediately or set aside and reheat just before serving.


  1. What a wonderful post-- I'm watching "Charade" asap!

  2. I love the fact that you said 'marvy'. :)

    Ah...Paris...one day I hope to get there with my sweetie. In between eating, we'll walk and people watch...all the while talking, of course, of our next meal.

  3. Thank you, Amy! :-) I was just wishing I could watch Charade! :-) Will have to reserve it at the library tonight. :-)

  4. Oh, Amuse-bouche, I hope you are able to go there one day soon! :-) Your plans sound perfect. :-) I'm off to visit your blog! :-)

  5. Ah, gorgeous! Reminds me of my one and only trip to Paris.

  6. Thank you, Y! Such happy memories from that city. :-)

  7. Sharffen is by far my fave chocolate out there! It has a real bite. It's for the wishy washy chcolate lovers out there.

  8. Oh, me too, Duchess!! :-) I was thrilled to pieces to find bars on sale the other day. I snatched up a stack of them immediately! :-)

  9. I love your photographs. With the stories, photos and recipes, I could move into your blog.

    Off to finish a chocolate peanut butter pies, chicken and a Blackout cake. Can I do it?

  10. Ohh, that's such a lovely thing to say, Chaya! :-) You are welcome any time! :-)

    Wow!! That all sounds amazing!! I need to know what a Blackout Cake is :-)