Desperate times call for desperate measures: Hot chocolate

This is a refrain you’ve heard around here before, and you can bet your boots you’re going to hear it again: I hate winter. Even in years not dominated by the Snowtorious B.I.G., I find it suspect and unpleasant (and all my digits agree), not least because it makes MY BEHAVIOR equally suspect and unpleasant (I do not react well to so many hours of darkness). Fortunately for us all, the relentless biting cold and dark also start to reawaken my sweet tooth a little bit, which gives the universe at large ammunition with which to soothe the savage beastie within.


This is why I found myself brewing up a lethal pot of hot chocolate last saturday.

It had been a brutally long week, and I had plans to play hostess to a small phalanx of fabulous dancing girls (parade practice, and all); it just wasn’t going to do to bite their heads off in a winter-fueled angst spree, nor was it going to do to be too tipsy to work on the dances. So, I figured that the best course of action would be to maintain my sobriety and instead up my dopamine levels with some super indulgent homemade hot chocolate.


I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that what I ended up with was wickedly, ridiculously, decadently delicious. I don’t need to tell you that within seconds it had improved my mood immeasurably; I’m also sure I don’t need to tell you that the dancing girls loved it, too, or that it gave us all a humming, skipping, sugar-fueled energy that added EVEN MORE SASS to the proceedings. I probably SHOULD tell you, however, that this recipe contains no less than a pound of chocolate. So be prepared to explore new heights of sugar high, and think twice before feeding it to small, noisy children. Do not, however, think twice before feeding it to me at any point between December and April. It’s probably the only way you’ll make it out with all your limbs intact.


12 oz semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
4 oz white chocolate, finely chopped
2 l milk
1 tbsp instant espresso powder
3 tbsp cocoa powder

  1. Over low heat, gently warm the milk until it just starts to simmer.
  2. Whisk in everything else until smooth. Keep it over low heat and bring it back to near simmer–or just however warm you like it. Just make sure you do it slowly, over low heat, continuing to whisk occasionally.
  3. Consider serving with marshmallows. Though you might just slip into diabetic shock right there.
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