Monday, January 10, 2005

Hot Chocolate - Hot Topic

Hot Chocolate is a hot topic this winter in the Bay area. In mid-December the Chronicle ran an article dedicated to sourcing a good mug-full of the stuff. They even held a tasting at The Ferry Plaza which drew mixed reactions from Chowhounds who tried it out. About a week ago I reported on what Townhall calls San Francisco's Best Cup of Hot Chocolate. At seven bucks a cup, it's certainly one of SF's most expensive. I also mentioned that Boulette's Larder in The Ferry Plaza sells a very creamy and delicious European version of the drink for less than half that price. Boulette's version is fairly popular with Chowhounds, some of whom like to pair it with a basket of their freshly cooked-to-order beignets.
Over at World on a Plate there is a post called Cocoa Loco featuring the cocoa drink as an alternative to caffeine. Meanwhile, Amy at Cooking with Amy has even more Bay Area related news about this increasingly popular sipable treat.
After sampling the Boulette's Larder version on Christmas Eve, I decided to make my own end-of-2004 version before January resolutions for a healthier lifestyle kicked in.

Click on photo to enlarge

Just over 3 years ago I visited Sydney where I stumbled on the irresistible Max Brenner Chocolate Bar. I couldn't stop myself from purchasing the Suckao pictured above. It's perfect for making a decadent cup of warming hot chocolate.

Light the candle under the metal cup. Fill half of the cup with cream or milk. When the milk gets hot, gradually fill it up with grated chocolate of your choice, until a smooth, thick hot chocolate drink is attained. Use the metal straw to stir it and drink it.

Other Chocolate and Good News

Last week, a few people commented that they were impressed when I refrained from trying the Almond Chocolate Torte that I baked to help raise funds for Tsunami Relief. Well, yesterday I baked another of the same sinful cake, and this time my will power caved in. I had a small slice. But. I had good reason for a little celebration. I found out I was part of a team who reached the final of the Visual Effects Society Awards, for my work on the Lemony Snicket movie. You can read Hollywood Reporter's account of the finalists. I even get a name check. Maybe I'll get to wear a fancy frock and go to a glitzy ceremony in LA. It's not quite the Oscars, but its the closest I'll probably ever get! Quite exciting...
Hot Chocolate - Hot Topic


  • At 11/1/05 08:37, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Congratulations on the VES nomination! How exciting! And what a great category too, Sam! On the topic of chocolate, I have been nursing a post--still a draft--about chocolate, especially my favorite kinds for eating, baking and grating for hot cocoa (and the secret stash I keep in the pantry) but keep getting sidetracked with other things. Btw, just yesterday I finally sampled the new Starbucks hot chocolate Amy spoke about. Lovely texture and color but too sweet. I think I'll have to go back to Paris soon! ;-) Viv

  • At 11/1/05 11:25, Blogger debbie koenig said…

    Mazel tov, Sam! That's soooo cool. If ever something called for a little chocolate indulgence, it's public recognition for work well done.

  • At 11/1/05 12:43, Blogger Delphine said…

    Bravo Sam!I'm very happy for you and sincerely hope you'll win the price.

    And for your object, yes, it's a modern vision of an old fashion French chocolatiere. I just love it!

  • At 11/1/05 17:28, Blogger Amy Sherman said…

    Great post! And not just cause you mentioned me (blush).

    My favorite hot chocolate in town so far is Cafe Madeleine (43 O'Farrell @ Market). They make it with ganache and milk. However there is a new place in town, Cocoa Bella on Union St. and they have hired someone just to make hot chocolate at a hot chocolate bar! I plan on checking it out and will report back...congrats on the award by the way, very impressive...!

  • At 11/1/05 21:15, Blogger Sam said…

    thanks for all the kind congratulations everyone.
    But Amy - we haven't won just yet.
    We will be going to the Awards ceremony in LA in February, until then I'll be keeping my fingers crossed!
    Viv - I am looking forward to your chocolate post.
    Debbie - maybe I'll bake another torte if we win (an eat two slices!)
    Del - I am glad it was a modern version of the old French thing we spoke about, you'll have to come round and try it some time!
    Amy thanks for the other tips - can't wait to hear what you think of Cocoa Bella. Someone else on Chowhouns was speaking highly of Cafe Madeleine recently too.

    Btw - I carelessly missed giving Pim a nod in my review, who just a few days ago wrote a great post about hot chocolate in Paris.


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