Falls is an awesome time of year and evokes memories of walking in the leaves and hearing them crunch under your feet, the smell of fireplaces as the curl of smoke winds up the chimney, apples, pumpkin pie and of course, hot chocolate. At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn, we consistently note that as the thermometer goes down the consumption of hot chocolate goes up. There is that delicious feeling of the cup between your palms offering its warmth to your cold fingers ,the steam of the cup caressing your nose as you hold it….Not to outdone by the warmth of the enticing concoction as it travels to your tummy. The entire experience is noteworthy. Why they even write songs about it.
We have polled our guests to ascertain what they feel is the most important aspect of the experience. What separates the average cup of Hot chocolate from the heavenly one is a subject of debate as complex as the families that grew these debaters. In all food choices one equates their own familial experience with “excellence” and to be swayed to another camp a betrayal of our gene pool.
Our responses have been varied. Some say that a cup of hot chocolate made with skim milk while easier on the fat quotient is not worth the ride. Purists of this divine drink would rather poke out their eye than use a mix no matter how who’s upscale brand it is.
There is a large clan that speaks to the utilization of actual chocolate however even they vary on whether semi-sweet or unsweetened with sugar added is the correct ticket. To further separate the pack, there are very strong feelings regarding the addition of vanilla as opposed to cinnamon. One woman mentioned adding egg. Does the addition of coffee granules abort the mission of hot chocolate construction or enhance it? Would the consummate cup of hot chocolate be topped with whipped cream or marshmallows?
At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn’s Hot Chocolate Surprise: Makes 4 servings
1 cup whole milk
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 or less cup sugar (to taste)
5 ozs. good quality semi-sweet chocolate chopped
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 small good quality chocolate pieces
In a small saucepan pour in the milk, cream and 1/8 cup of white fine sugar. Simmer the milk gently. Do not boil. Stir in the chopped chocolate until melted. Taste for sugar and add as much more of the 1/4 cup as you feel right for individual taste. Right before serving add a dollop of whipped cream and place the small bit of chocolate right in the center. It is nothing short of divine.
P.S. Should you wish to have 2 cups or engage in this feast routinely as opposed to a special treat, one could go to lower fat milk and light cream.
Patti and Gary Wiles