…arrived on my doorstep last year, a present from my friend Carole. In the bag were the makings of Chocolat Chaud a l’Ancienne or old-fashioned hot chocolate! Carole shares my passion for all things chocolate, and she has discovered a cafe in Beziers (Le Mathi’s), not far from the Theatre Municipal on the Allees Paul Riquet, which serves old-fashioned hot chocolate amongst a myriad of treats. The little brown bag contained a copy of the recipe Carole uses to make her own hot chocolate, along with dark chocolate, cocoa powder, cinnamon and vanilla! Just add milk… 🙂
Before I made my own hot chocolate, I had to go on an expedition in Beziers, to taste the chocolat chaud a l’ancienne at Le Mathi’s. The things I do for the sake of writing this blog!! 😀
Le Mathi’s is one of a number of cafes which front onto Beziers’ main square – in the summer there is a large terrace outside, but as it was still a little too cold for the terrace, I was cozy inside. Somehow I cannot imagine myself having hot chocolate in the summer.
The patrons of Le Mathi’s seem to be an eclectic bunch: groups of older ladies, office workers, students, perhaps the odd travelling salesman? The menu board lists the old-fashioned hot chocolate right at the top! There is also traditional hot chocolate and Viennese hot chocolate, along with eight different kinds of cafe and 20 different kinds of tea!! And there are cakes!!
I’d come to try the old-fashioned hot chocolate, but the Viennese hot chocolate intrigued me. I decided to try the Viennese hot chocolate, and my companion ordered the old-fashioned hot chocolate Here’s what they looked like:
Now I know – Viennese hot chocolate has a whole lot of whipped cream on top!! I guess I should have thought of that!! 🙂 The old-fashioned hot chocolate was thick and rich – perfectly delicious! We didn’t really need any cakes to go with the chocolate, but what the h*** – you only live once!
And then the hot chocolates were finished, and it was time to go for a walk!
Here are some of the beautiful buildings I saw on my walk:
Some time later, at home, I tried out Carole’s Recipe for old-fashioned hot chocolate. To the ingredients Carole had already presented me with, I added milk, cream, and brown sugar. Here is the picture again:
The milk and cream were put into a saucepan along with the vanilla and cinnamon and some water. I deviated from the recipe somewhat, in that I mixed the sugar and cocoa powder to a paste, with some of the milk. That paste dissolved beautifully in the milk.
After the paste of cocoa and sugar was added to the milk mixture, the whole was brought to the boil, and then the chopped chocolate was added. The preparation was then kept at a simmer for 15 minutes, before being strained to remove any lumps and spices. The recipe says that the hot chocolate will taste better if prepared in advance and re-heated. I couldn’t wait that long though!! 🙂 It was delicious, rich and thick – a chocoholic’s dream!!
The recipe makes a fair amount of hot chocolate, so you will have some left over. I’ll let you be the judge if it is better the day after.
The next time I prepare the recipe I might reduce the amount of chocolate a little, and perhaps add some more sugar, but I’ll definitely be making it again!! Thank you so much, Carole!!