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?  
  • User Gravatar
    November 21st, 2008

    I saw a lady have that today, she was on the next table to me…but as I don’t speak or really understand Italian didn’t know what to ask for…never mind..!

  • User Gravatar
    Andy Bailey
    November 23rd, 2008

    oh chocolate, how I heart it …
    Recent blog post: ShamelesslySassy.com : Featured Site

  • User Gravatar
    Robin Locker
    November 23rd, 2008

    Well, now you know, you should’ve asked her to share!!

  • User Gravatar
    Robin Locker
    November 23rd, 2008

    So do I, so do I. In fact, I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t like chocolate!

  • User Gravatar
    December 14th, 2010

    Hi Robin .. so funny I have just seen my comment from 2008, that is when I had been on holiday in Italy …. and yeah now I know and can ask in Italy and Paris .. ..

    I am in with you … How can anyone resist :-)

    Just look how far your language skills have come Anne! ;)

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