Expat Foodie: Hot Italian Decadence

by missfootloose on March 2, 2012 · 6 comments

in Expat foodie, Food, Italy

Lots of bare bottoms everywhere. Sometimes the back is more interesting than the front

Do you know where  I was a couple of weeks ago for a little hedonistic jaunt to rest up from our expat life in Moldova? Of course you guessed it: Rome, Italy. The kissing cars alone should have given away it was Italy.

In case you want to know about the photos on that post: The beautiful marble floor you can find in St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, and the statue lives on Piazza Navona. The wonderful herbed pork roast in the farmers’ market makes the famous porchetta sandwich. Like Italian wines and cheeses, this pork roast also boasts “official” status as a traditional Italian food.

Although I’ve been to Italy half a dozen times or so, I’ve never been there during the winter months and so never came across the cioccolata calda, hot chocolate, which is pure decadence.

One cool afternoon I spooned empty this mug while sitting on a little terrace warmed by gas heaters in Via della Carozze near the Spanish Steps. Fortunately dinner wasn’t until 9, Italian style.

Italian hot chocolate

And yes, I have a recipe! I tried it out this morning in my kitchen in Moldova, and here’s the photo. It was wonderful and tasted just the way I had it in Rome. I made it with 75% dark chocolate. The better the chocolate the better the hot chocolate will be (imagine that), so don’t try this with some cheap stuff.

Italian hot chocolate

So here goes:

ITALIAN CIOCCOLATA CALDA

1 ½ cups (3.5 dl) whole milk (or part heavy cream)
2 Tbsp (30 g) sugar
3.5 oz (100 g) good quality dark chocolate, 70% or higher, broken into pieces
2 tsp (10 ml) cornstarch (cornflour)

Take about 4 Tablespoons of the milk and set it aside. In a medium saucepan, over low heat, slowly heat the rest of the milk and the sugar.

When the sugar is dissolved and the milk is hot, but not boiling, add the chopped chocolate and stir until it is melted.

Mix the cornstarch with the reserved milk and add it to the chocolate mixture in the pan. Stir until the mixture thickens.

Pour into mugs or cups and serve immediately.

This makes 2 large or 4 small servings.

You can serve whipped cream (the real deal!) on the side or on top for added decadence. Also nice is a sprinkling of cinnamon.

This is a basic recipe and from here you can get creative by adding some coffee liqueur, or any other liqueur, some vanilla flavoring, etc

I’ve seen cioccolata calda served in very small cups, and even thicker than this recipe, but I’ve not tasted or tried that version.

The original recipe came from bell’alimento.

Now go try this and tell me how you like it!

* * *

What kind of decadent food do you enjoy?

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

GutsyLiving March 6, 2012 at 7:19 am

This is something so delicious, I would have to eliminate a meal or two to enjoy it without guilt. Also California palm trees don’t really fit this chocolate drink, although we’ve had the heating running at night.
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Janet Abercrombie March 8, 2012 at 1:18 pm

Your chocolate recipe reminds me of “chocolate con churros” in Spain. Fresh, crispy donut stick dipped into chocolate much as you describe. I’m l may be living on the wrong continent.

Janet | expateducator.com

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Aledys Ver March 9, 2012 at 1:53 pm

Ohh this looks absolutely divine! Excellent for those cold, rainy days here in the NL … do you think ciocolatta calda would go with stroopwaffels? :)
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missfootloose March 9, 2012 at 6:37 pm

Oh, absolutely, Aledys! Cioccolata calda and stroopwafels are a perfect marriage!

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Pat March 9, 2012 at 5:28 pm

This makes the French chocolate chaud look like a diet drink! Thanks for sharing the recipe.
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guyana gyal March 9, 2012 at 10:32 pm

I love hot chocolate on a cold, rainy day…it’s not raining right now, but I sure want some chocolate milky drink, thick, cold, with vanilla and ice.
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