Romance Cooks

Chocolat chaud–Laura Florand

In The Chocolate Kiss, Magalie’s hot chocolate bewitches all comers, and Philippe, hot-shot pastry chef, struggles mightily to resist its lure. He doesn’t want to be the one to crack first, after all.

Chocolat chaud, or European-style hot chocolate, is so easy to make, I’m always surprised people would stick with cocoa mixes. Neither Magalie nor I ever use a real recipe, but some proportions to get you started

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–2 cups (250 ml) liquid; I prefer milk, but if your chocolate is particularly high quality you might prefer water, and some people blend milk and cream

–Spices as you prefer, such as 1/2 tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp vanilla, a fine fresh grating of nutmeg

–8 oz (225 g) high quality dark chocolate; I prefer Valrhona’s 61% couverture chocolate

1. Put the milk, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a pot and heat the milk gently until steam just starts to rise from it. Try not to let it form a skin; overheating milk changes its flavor.

2. Remove from burner and add chocolate, and vanilla if using. Let sit for thirty seconds. Whisk quickly until smooth.

3. Throw in some wishes for the people who drink it, like Magalie. Here are some of hers: May you find some gumption. May you have a beautiful, dreaming day. May you love your life and seize it with both hands. May you find yourself humble at my feet and very, very sorry you ever decided to open a shop to compete with mine just down the street. (But that wish didn’t work out for her quite like she expected.)

Chocolate Kiss

spicy

The Heart of Paris

Welcome to La Maison des Sorcieres. Where the window display is an enchanted forest of sweets, a collection of conical hats delights the eye and the habitués nibble chocolate witches from fanciful mismatched china. While in their tiny blue kitchen, Magalie Chaudron and her two aunts stir wishes into bubbling pots of heavenly chocolat chaud.

But no amount of wishing will rid them of interloper Philippe Lyonnais, who has the gall to open one of his world famous pastry shops right down the street. Philippe’s creations seem to hold a magic of their own, drawing crowds of beautiful women to their little isle amidst the Seine, and tempting even Magalie to venture out of her ivory tower and take a chance, a taste … a kiss.

Parisian princesses, chocolate witches, patissier princes and sweet wishes—

An enchanting tale of amour et chocolat

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