He turned round, and leaning upon his elbow, began to sip his chocolate. The mellow November sun came streaming into the room. The sky was bright, and there was a genial warmth in the air. It was almost like a morning in May.
– Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
There are always a few weeks in early Fall where it is colder in my apartment then it is outside. I leave the house ready to face a brisk New York, early frost and find a mild northern California day instead. While the season makes up it’s mind, I’ll just live in a bowl of hot chocolate.
Nueva Bogotá Hot Chocolate
This recipe is adapted from James Turback’s Hot Chocolate, a small collection of hot chocolate quotes, recipes, and stories from chocolatiers around the world. I ordered this book as a last minute add-on to complete an order. I don’t remember what I ordered it with but this tiny book has become of my favorites. This recipe comes from Venezuelan chocolatier Michael Antonorsi from Chuao Chocolatier in California, inspired from his time in Colombia. I’ve always loved the Colombian tradition of mixing cheese and chocolate, especially since there’s a greater variety of farmer’s cheeses available now. I loved the heat of the chipotle chiles but the cayenne pepper made it burn a little too hotly for me so I made it optional. If you like the extra heat, definitely include it.
2 cups 2% or whole milk
4 ounces high quality bittersweet chocolate (58.5% cacao), chopped
2 tablespoons grated papelon, panela, pilonzillo, panocha, or firmly packed brown sugar
Pinch of ground cardamon
Pinch of ground chipotle chile
1/2 pinch salt
1/2 pinch ground cayenne pepper (optional)
2 ounces white farmer’s cheese (queso blanco, queso panella or any farmer’s cheese used for grilling or frying) cut into 1/4″ cubes
In a small saucepan, combine the chocolate, panela, and spices and set aside. In a seperate saucepan, bring the milk to a simmer but do not boil. Add half the milk to the chocolate mixture and beat with a wire whisk until the chocolate is melted. Add the rest of the milk and heat over medium until hot but not boiling. Pour into cups and drop in the cheese cubes. Serve immediately.
Serves 2 to 4.