This is a luxurious, unexpected offering for dessert. Take it over the top with a dollop of Marshmallow Whipped Cream. Find the chocolate bars on the candy aisle at the grocery store. Traditional hot chocolate recipes usually call for arrowroot as a thickener, but we used the more common cornstarch.
2 teaspoons cornstarch
4 cups milk, divided
2 (3.5-oz.) dark chocolate bars (at least 70% cacao), chopped
Whisk together cornstarch and 1/2 cup milk until smooth.
Cook remaining 3 1/2 cups milk in a large, nonaluminum saucepan over medium heat until bubbles appear around edge of saucepan (about 4 minutes; do not boil). Whisk in chocolate, honey, vanilla extract, and salt until blended and smooth. Whisk in cornstarch mixture.
Bring milk mixture to a light boil, whisking frequently (about 4 minutes). Remove from heat. Let cool slightly. (Mixture will thicken as it cools.) Serve immediately with Marshmallow Whipped Cream, if desired.
Note: For testing purposes only, we used Ghirardelli Intense Dark Twilight Delight 72% Cacao dark chocolate bar.
Mexican Rich 'n' Thick Hot Chocolate: Prepare recipe as directed through Step 2, whisking in 1 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon and 1 tsp. ancho chili powder with chocolate. Proceed with recipe as directed.
Orange-Almond Rich 'n' Thick Hot Chocolate: Prepare recipe as directed through Step 2, whisking in 3 Tbsp. orange juice and 2 Tbsp. almond liqueur with chocolate. Proceed with recipe as directed.
Note: For testing purposes only, we used Amaretto for almond liqueur.
Grown-up Rich 'n' Thick Hot Chocolate: Prepare recipe as directed through Step 2, whisking in 1/2 cup Southern Comfort with chocolate. Proceed with recipe as directed.
I tried this hot chocolate two ways...the original as it appears in the recipe, which was good. It was very chocolatey and very sweet - maybe a little too sweet.
But then I later tried the Mexican version of it.....it was fantastic...one of the best hot chocolates I've made or ever tried. Though I tweaked it a bit...instead of using the amount of dark chocolate called for, I instead used 4 squares of Baker's semi-sweet chocolate baking squares. (I thought the 7 oz. of the 70% chocolate I used in the first recipe was just too strong and too much). Also, since I didn't have honey, I used regular white sugar. I'm going to try this recipe again with Southern Comfort!