Brillat-Savarin’s Hot Chocolate

AS AUTUMN TURNS COLDER THE nights and days, a young (or old) cook’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of hot chocolate. And what better hot chocolate can there be than that described on page 88 of the Leete’s Island Books edition of 18th-to-19th-century gourmand Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin‘s The Physiology of Taste? Without further ado:

…So, to make chocolate, that is to say, for immediate consumption, take about one and a half ounces for each cup of water, and let dissolve gradually while the water comes to the boil, stirring gently with a wooden spatula; let boil for a quarter of an hour, to give the solution consistency, and serve piping hot.

I usually make this with unsweetened Baker’s Chocolate and add sugar to taste, but I imagine you could use whatever quality or sweetness of chocolate as strikes your cacao-fancy. I understand that the Spaniards slowly stir into the finished pot a beaten egg and call it breakfast; my own experience calls it delicious.

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