When it comes to hot chocolate… Imagine a straight line. On one end of the line are the ultra traditionalists who swear that you can’t make proper hot chocolate drink without using a batirol. I’m often tempted to tell the batirol people that their beloved tool was useful during the pre-wire whisk generation but a balloon whisk really does a better job of aerating the thick drink.
On the other end of the line are the… well, the people who’d tear open a packet of Swiss Miss mix, stir the contents with hot milk and gush at the result like it’s the ultimate of ultimates. Well, to each his own happiness, I guess.
My take on hot chocolate drink is nowhere in that straight line. I’m somewhere off the grid. In fact, I don’t have a singular take on hot chocolate drink because I’m always on that journey to reach the next high — the better texture, the richer flavor and the never-ending variety with the addition of spices and a few other special ingredients.
The drink that is the subject of this post was made with hot milk, dulce de leche and chocolate hazelnut spread. Not Nutella, but Goya. The dulce de leche is homemade. A cinnamon stick is thrown in as a stirrer which means that its flavor gets mixed into the drink while stirring. Can you imagine it already?
How to make the drink…
A note about dulce de leche. The link above describes the procedure for making it. But note that boiling the unopened can in water for an hour will yield a pale and pourable dulce de leche. Boil for an hour and fifteen minutes and you get a darker and spoonable texture. Boil for an hour and a half and you get something like yema. You want the pale and pourable dulce de leche at room temperature for this drink. The chocolate hazelnut spread should likewise be at room temperature.
Pour two heaping tablespoonfuls of dulce de leche into a mug. Top with two heaping tablespoonfuls of chocolate hazelnut spread.
Drop in the cinnamon stick before pouring in the hot milk so that it comes in contact with the hot milk before the heat is diluted by the room-temperature chocolate and dulce de leche. The cinnamon powder comes loose better that way.
Pour in the milk.
A few seconds after pouring in the milk, you’ll see the cinnamon powder floating on top of the drink. You can serve the hot chocolate at this point. Let whoever is drinking it do the stirring himself.
Or you can go a step farther.
You can stir the drink yourself until the dulce de leche and chocolate hazelnut spread are fully blended with the hot milk.
Then, you top the drink with whipped cream.
The dulce de leche will stay blended with the milk but the chocolate will float on top. So, leave the cinnamon stick in the mug so that the lucky person you are serving the drink to can stir it between sips.