Serve with a Side of Dayquil – Belgian Hot Chocolate

  • Common Cold
  • Bronchitis
  • Sinus Infection
  • Stomach Flu
  • Food Poisoning
  • Infected lymph nodes
  • The Plague

Hmmm? Oh me? I’m just listing all the ailments I’ve had since Little K was born six months ago. OK, maybe that last one is a stretch.

I have not been well since Little K was born. Actually, I had a three week stint of healthiness that ended on Monday. I was on cloud nine – three weeks of being able to taste my food, of not carrying Kleenex packs everywhere, of shaking people’s hands and not immediately feeling guilty and offering up my hand sanitizer. Turns out babies are like a walking petri dish and mommies-having-very-little-sleep and-a-propensity-to-kiss-the-babies-500-times-a-day (that is not an exaggeration, I’ve counted) are highly susceptible to the contents of said petri dish.

Monday night I got home from work and started to get Little K ready for bed. E was working late and I had Little K in bed and was nearly asleep myself when E got home. Surprised, he said, “You’re going to bed already?” I explained how my stomach was feeling a little off so I just wanted to go to sleep. And then I threw up and felt much better. Five hours later E did the same. The following day we were pretty much useless. We couldn’t dredge up enough energy to shovel the driveway, much less make ourselves presentable enough to take Little K to daycare. So he stayed home with the sickies and got really familiar with Sesame Street and nearly ever baby game I could find in the app store. He got more screen time that day than he should have had in the entire month, but we got through it. By the end of the day we were feeling pretty good again.

Then I woke up with an awful sore throat. And so begins the next month-long cold to add to my list of “sicknesses of the season.” (That’s going to be a best seller. I can tell you right now. Pre-order for the 2013 holiday season today!) I think the cold has sort of stalled out though because the sore throat is just holding steady. To send my sore throat off in style (cross your fingers, please!) I decided to make a killer hot chocolate. Like a real one, without RumChata or Hershey’s Syrup.

Before we get ahead of ourselves here, what’s the difference between hot cocoa and hot chocolate? Is it just a regional vernacular? Like soda and pop? If so, I’ll straddle the aisle on both hot cocoa vs. hot chocolate and soda vs. pop, but don’t get me started on Duck, Duck, Grey Duck or “hot dish.” It’s Duck, Duck, Goose and casserole. I promise, Minnesota, it is.

Belgian Hot Chocolate

Overall: three-star

That crumbled mess used to resemble a brownie. That is, before E took a big ol' bite of it! Sheesh, that man has no patience.

That crumbled mess used to resemble a brownie. That is, before E took a big ol’ bite of it! Sheesh, that man has no patience.

This recipe originally came from The Great Book of Chocolate, though David Lebovitz adapted it some for this post.

Ease to Prepare: three-star

I’m actually really happy with a three star Belgian hot chocolate. When I set out to make this I thought I’d have scalded milk and clumpy chocolate and a big ol’ mess. Not so! It really was easy to do, just a lot more work than squirting some Hershey’s syrup or cocoa mix into a mug with cold milk and throwing it in the micro.

Instructions: five-star

Great detail in the instructions. Provides some potential options for preparing it – like using reduced fat milk instead of half-and-half (which I did). And I appreciate that the recipe uses words like “about” and “or.” Options and flexibility = a happy cook.DSCF4714

Food: three-star

E said he expected a bit more from the drink. It’s on the edge of being as good as a high-end dry mix. It does use chocolate you either have around your house (I used chocolate chips for the semi-sweet chocolate) or something you can grab at your grocery store (a Godiva bar from Target), so maybe it’s not fair to expect a full on swoon over the drink.

Clean up: four-star

Am I alone in feeling like a recipe is more clean up work if it requires a hand held blender? I just used a whisk and I think it did fine. With that, easy clean up – though more than your average hot chocolate of course.

  Cost: one dollar

Recently someone gave us a giftcard to Godiva. I’ve lived my whole life without shopping there or receiving a box-o-chocolates from them. When E told me his co-worker said we needed to use the giftcard towards some of their hot cocoa mix, I said ok and handed it to the cashier; then nearly fell over when she told me it was over $15. So, in comparison, this recipe is much more affordable.

How often does your weekly chocolate allowance tip the scales into the double digits? Hot chocolate or hot cocoa? What regional vocabulary makes you crazy? Pfft, Duck, Duck, Gray Duck… Crazy people. Eh?


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