Hot Chocolate

Do those words make you go weak in the knees as they do to me? I have no idea what triggered off my ‘choco-holism’, but there it is. Put any type of chocolate in front of me (with the exception of mint flavoured ones and Bounty) and that’s the last of it that you shall see! And I rejoiced when I recently read that the Belgian Post Office will be issuing five stamps that smell and taste of chocolate – in honour of its national delicacy! I would love to get my hands on those :)
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When I first read Joanne Harris’ deliciously titled book Chocolat, I went into raptures over her descriptions of the food and the chocolaterie’s offerings. The film, with its frothy interpretation of the book, is much poorer (despite Johnny Depp!) and I would highly recommend that you read the book – for its rich imagery and quotable quotes.
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“Happiness. Simple as a glass of chocolate or tortuous as the heart. Bitter. Sweet. Alive.”

Which brings me to that elusive thing called the perfect Hot Chocolate. I’ve always wondered why is it that cafes don’t manage to serve up a good cup of hot chocolate. More often than not, it’s either a glass of pale brown milk or some mud coloured sludge. It’s even more surprising considering how easy it is make it.

When I think about Hot Chocolate, my mind immediately goes to that flowing river of chocolate in Willy Wonka’s factory, at least texture wise. And the erstwhile Chocolate Bar at Harrods in London served the perfect cuppa. This restaurant has now been replaced by Cafe Godiva and there is no reason why you shouldn’t find top-quality hot chocolate there. A cup full of liquid chocolaty goodness...

In Mumbai, the chain cafes all serve some of the worst hot chocolates ever. More milk, less chocolate and often bringing to mind that childhood growing-up drink of Bournvita. Theobroma Patisserie (Colaba, Bandra & Kemps Corner) does a decent one and the curiously-named Marz-o-rin in Pune is another, where you can get a small cup of hot chocolate for Rs. 25! 

However, the one place that does a really good hot chocolate in Mumbai is Suzette, the French Cafe/Creperie located at Nariman Point. They also have a branch in Bandra. Suzette has a range of quite delicious crepes (sweet and savoury), salads and coffees – more about that in a later post. But it’s their Dark Hot Chocolate that brings me back again and again.
Image courtesy Suzette
This is how I make hot chocolate at home - melt 2-3 pieces of milk or dark chocolate, add a cup of hot milk and then stir in 2tsp of unsweetened cocoa powder. Sprinkle a bit of cinnamon powder on top and voila! Currently, I’m also using the hot chocolate mix from Yellow Butterfly – a local brand owned by my friend Shivani with a host of chocolaty products and savoury dips on offer. Take a look at her page here; there are some V-day goodies available as well. I have my eye on her Chili Chocolate Dip
Image courtesy Yellow Butterfly
Have you found that perfect cup of hot chocolate in Mumbai? Leave a comment below and I shall try it out!

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