Wednesday, August 3, 2011

To Sip and To Savor

Last week, my family and I were camping in the desert and coast of Oregon.  While I didn't really have the chance to bake (you know, lacking an oven and all that), I did discover a luscious drinking chocolate.  On the coast of Oregon is a lovely little town called either Bandon, Old Town Bandon, or Bandon By-the-Sea.  We spent a lovely two days there, wandering the town and fishing for crab.  While the crabbing was minimally fruitful and yielded mostly almost entirely female and undersized crabs (legally kept Dungeness crabs must be male, over 5 3/4 inches across), we found a very high-end chocolate shop called Coastal Mist.  

This is the sign outside of their building.  The interior is very lovely, with beautiful chocolates displayed like jewels, and I encourage you to stop by if you are anywhere near Bandon, Oregon.  The town itself is a pleasant place to visit.

Among other things, the store sells quality chocolates, desserts and drinking chocolate and caramel.  Although as a college student I found their chocolate and dessert prices extremely high, my brother bought a cup of drinking chocolate to go for $3.75.  Both my parents and I had a chance to try it, and I must say, it was incredibly decadent and delicious, hot and creamy and chocolatey.  Since we are not likely to return to Bandon very soon, I wanted to try and replicate it.  Their website can be found here.  

Delectable delights!

Hot Chocolate Inspired by Coastal Mist and recreated through trial and error
Serves 4

4 ounces chocolate, chopped
½ cup heavy whipping cream (divided)
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons milk (I used 1%)
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract + splash of vanilla (I used a couple of drops)
½ teaspoon powdered sugar 
1 small cooking pot and reliable stove or 1 double boiler (or improvised)
1 whisk
2-cup liquid measure
1 tablespoon measure
¼ teaspoon measure
1 bowl for whipping the cream 
1 balloon whisk for whipping the cream
4 shot glasses or similarly-sized small cups (wine glasses are too large)
1 ordinary spoon


1. Heat ¼ cup of the cream and all the milk until it is almost steaming, then turn off the fire.  Pour the chocolate into the hot cream and milk and let sit, then slowly stir to incorporate.  Leave the hot chocolate on the stove.

Beautiful melted chocolate, cream and milk.  The whisk is an adorable whisk that my boyfriend got for me last Christmas.  It's very useful for liquids as it does not incorporate too much air into the mixture.
2. Meanwhile, whip the other ¼ cup of cream by hand until it is frothy, then add the ½ teaspoon of powdered sugar and the splash of vanilla.  Whip until it forms soft peaks.

The less cream, the less time.  In this case, I think it actually took me less time to whip the cream by hand than it would have taken to clean my little handheld electric mixer.
3. Carefully pour the hot chocolate into the 4 cups, dividing evenly.  Spoon the whipped cream on top of the hot chocolate and serve immediately.  Enjoy!

The cup is too large and the picture is not well taken as I feared the cream would sink into the chocolate (which it actually didn't), but otherwise, it does look nice.

I think the hot chocolate was very decadent and almost too rich.  Next time I am going to add 2 tablespoons of milk, so I wind up using ½ cup instead of ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons.

To aid the flavor, I may also add a few grains of salt to the hot chocolate.

I imagine that the flavor could be augmented with almond or peppermint extract.  I don't have any, but lemon extract might be intriguing as well. 

The wine glasses that I served them in wound up being very small.  The hot chocolate would have looked nicer in smaller cups.  Also, the hot chocolate cooled a lot in the cups.  I might try to heat the hot chocolate up a little more before serving.

No comments:

Post a Comment