Catalan Hot Chocolate
On a recent trip to Catalunya we almost OD'd on hot chocolate. There's seems to be different from what I'm used to - it's very thick, eaten with a spoon, and just outrageously good. Since coming back, I haven't been able to figure out what they do to it that made it so good. Does anyone have a recipe for Catalan style hot chocolate? For all I know, other parts of Europe do something similar, although I've not noticed it elsewhere before. I've searched online and on Chowhound to no avail.
Cornstarch is pretty important in this sort of chocolate.
1000 g de leche - 1 litre of milk (about 4 cups
) 150 g de chocolate - 150g of chocolate (aim for about 65% cacao) - shave, grate or process into small pieces
50 g de cacao - 50g cocoa powder
200 g de azúcar - 200g granulated sugar
25 g de almidón (maizena) - 25g cornstarch.
Method - bring to the boil 3/4 of the milk with 150g of the sugar. In the meantime, in another receptacle, mix the cornstarch, cocoa powder and the remaining sugar and once blended stir in the cold milk and combine to a paste.
When the milk reaches a boiling point, add the grated chocolate, stir to dissolve, add the cornstarch paste and keep stirring constantly until it thickens.
Generally it isn't made from scratch as you can get cocoa, sugar and cornstarch in packets, the deluxe version is something like this
A "Valor" chocolate bar especially formulated to dissolve into hot milk to make "chocolate a la taza". Valor is perhaps Spain's most popular brand of chocolate and has a long history.
A better recipe (but which may not be so representative of what you enjoyed in Spain) is this one based on a Torreblanca recipe. Torreblanca perhaps being the most celebrated chocolatiers in Spain.
In this 40g of cornstarch is mixed with 50g of sugar. To this you add 1 litre of milk, 100g of cream, 0.5 g of salt and 1g of cinnamon powder. Bring the mixture to boiling point and turn off the heat.
Add 550g of grated chocolate (64% cocoa min) and stir well.
Unfortunately the recipe misses out the point where another 50g of sugar is added. Perhaps with the chocolate at the end?