French Chocolat a l’Ancienne

Since the weather is getting cold, I thought it a perfect time to share a little something I like to call a cold remedy.

Not a cure for the common cold, but more like a potion that will warm the coldest of hands and melt the hardest of hearts during the winter months.

But first, a little background story.

I remember on my last visit to Paris, we stumbled across a lovely little spot in my favorite part of Paris – the I'le Saint-Louis.  

La Charlotte de l'isle

La Charlotte de l'Isle, an eclectic salon de thé, has a pink facade and a curvaceous lady caricature gracing the outside.  Ms. Charlotte I presume.

But inside is where the magic happens.

inside the salon

Even though it was September, I couldn't pass up a chance to have some of the best, French hot chocolate, made from an ancient recipe.

This is not your typical Nestle's powder cocoa-in-a-box that you mix with water, like you find here in the States.

Nay, nay.

This is pure dark chocolate melted and combined with rich whole milk to create a rich, oozy, heavenly concoction that slides down your throat, thick like honey, but oh so warm and chocolatey.

And though you won't be sipping it on the I'le Saint-Louis in Paris, the recipe below is so good, that your mind just might fool you.  

French hot chocolate

Chocolat  a l' Ancienne

6 oz. good quality semisweet chocolate, like Valrhona, chopped
¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons hot water, divided
3 cups hot whole milk
Sugar, to taste

Using a double boiler or a heat-safe glass bowl over simmering water, melt the chopped chocolate into ¼ cup of the water. Stir in the 3 tablespoons hot water and milk until the chocolate mixture is smooth. Pour the hot chocolate into cups and add sugar as desired. 

Sip plain or garnish with a spoonful of whipped cream.

So, what is your secret to the best Hot Chocolate?  

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