Top of My Wishlist: Hand-Forged Knives by NYCutlery

Top of My Wishlist: Hand-Forged Knives by NYCutlery

As an avid cook and kitchen professional, I can be kind of, well, obsessive ((cough, cough)) about my food preparation tools, knives topping the list. To work with a sub-standard knife is not only ineffective and dangerous, it’s just plain … Continue reading


I can’t think of a better antidote to a damp and rainy New England afternoon than this classic, French-style hot chocolate. Much richer and darker than its American counterpart, this recipe – derived from Pierre Hermé – uses less sugar and the best dark chocolate and cocoa powder you can get your hands on. Made with more water than milk or cream, it really lets the flavors of the chocolate shine through without being heavy or cloying. Luxurious and delicious…break out your favorite cups, curl up and enjoy!

Chocolat Chaud Classique

Makes 4-four ounce cups or 8-two ounce cups (demi-tasse)


125 g/ 4-1/2 oz. dark chocolate, 67% or more cocoa solids

450 ml/ 3/4 cup water

50 g/ 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar

25 g/ 1/3cup + 1 Tbsp. cocoa powder, sifted

65 ml/ 1/4 cup half & half


  1. Chop the chocolate into small pieces and set aside in medium, heat-proof bowl
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the cocoa powder with 125 g/ 1/4 c of the water until a smooth paste forms
  3. In a medium saucepan, bring to a boil the water and sugar
  4. Reduce heat, gradually whisking in the cocoa powder and water mixture
  5. Bring back up to a simmer, whisking briskly until completely smooth
  6. Remove from heat, mix in half and half
  7. Pour a third of the hot mixture over chocolate pieces, whisking from the center. Once chocolate is melted, add remaining liquid
  8. Stir until smooth and glistening, pour and serve!

Some of my favorite additional serving suggestions:

Add a wee tipple of Grand Marnier or cognac

A dollop of whipped cream

A grating of fresh nutmeg

(In the unlikely event you have some left over, store in the fridge, then gently reheat on a low flame, just don’t let it boil.)

All content © Veronica Wirth and The Buttery Fig, 2011.