November 20, 2013

Sipping Chocolate

This is just the drink for a cold winter's night by the fire. While it's been warm here the last few days we are gearing up for a rather miserable few days with (potentially) rain, sleet and snow. Fabulous, no? I'm trying to see it as a chance to sit by the fire reading a book and maybe getting in a marathon of classic movies. I'm ignoring the fact that the locals still talk about the last major ice storm where the power was out for almost a week…

Back to that lovely vision of quiet fireside reading though. Sipping chocolate is a bit more like the hot chocolate drink served in Jane Austen's day. The chocolate flavor comes from actual chocolate being melted down as opposed to the cocoa powder traditionally used in modern times. 

Sipping chocolate is thus a baking chocolate bar melted into milk or cream with sugar and spice mixed in. Jane would probably have had some chile mixed into hers, but I left this sweet and creamy. I used milk in this version but you could also use heavy cream. Be warned that the milk version is already very rich so you may want to experiment before you go all cream instead. It's much thicker than hot chocolate made from cocoa powder. It almost tastes like drinking chocolate ganache! 

Given that this is a more historical recipe than my usual, I thought it was fitting to use some of my grandmother's tea set. You might have seen a sneak peek of this on my Instagram feed last week, when I opened a package from my aunt of some our family china and crystal. Family story is that the pattern was created in the 1830s. A little late for dear Miss Austen, but fitting for the chocolate all the same.

Sipping Chocolate
adapted from History Hoydens
Makes 2 small servings or one very generous portion

2 1/2 oz bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups whole milk
1 tsp vanilla

In a saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate into the milk while whisking regularly. Once the majority of the chocolate has melted, add in brown sugar and vanilla. Whisk over low heat until it is completely smooth. Serve immediately.


  1. Shall have to try. I think this is appropriate for Dickens as well. :)

  2. Very appropriate! And it is almost time for a re-read of the Christmas Carol!


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