I have a love-hate relationship with hot chocolate.
I love that such a product exists. Chocolate! In a cup! Suitable for slurping!
I hate that it most often comes from chalky powdered mixes. Ew.
I love that hot chocolate goes with everything: marshmallows, candy canes, a nutritious veggie-packed dinner…
I hate that it is the caloric equivalent of a small meal, especially when I add those marshmallows and candy canes.
As I’ve grown older, the sensible part of my brain has sided with the “hates” and hot chocolate has become more and more of a rarity in my diet.
The name is a bit of a misnomer. It should really be called “Super Intense Fudge Blocks That You Skewer And Oh Yeah, If You Put Them In Milk They Melt And Make Amazing Liquid Fudge.”
THAT is truth in advertising.
The basic recipe is just four ingredients: cream, condensed milk, and two kinds of chocolate. They’re blended together, and then once the fudge sets up, it’s cut into blocks and be-sticked. Really, that’s it. It’s a plain and simple process that produces the best hot chocolate I’ve had in a long time. It’s ridiculously rich, of course, but not too sweet at all, and it actually tastes like chocolate instead of defatted cocoa and hydrogenated palm kernel oil and whatever else they’re shoving into those cocoa mixes these days.
The fudge is fine on its own, but I would absolutely recommend making this primarily as a hot chocolate delivery device. The fudge can be cut into squares or rectangles (or circles! or dodecahedrons!) and can be flavored with all sorts of flavoring oils. I left some plain, rolled some in crushed candy canes, and drizzled and dunked some in orange-flavored white chocolate. [PSA: do not add orange zest to white chocolate, it will seize. Stick to orange oil for flavoring. Cannot believe I did not know this before. Older and wiser, et cetera.]
Through hard experience, we can vouch that the hot chocolate is also an excellent biscotti-softening tool. I made this Christmas biscotti for the Oh Nuts blog and if I may be a huge braggart, it’s a winner. It has red & green pistachios, cranberries, white chocolate, and orange zest, and it’s simply begging for a hot chocolate bath. Biscotti + hot chocolate on a stick = best gift plate ever? Just sayin….
I still have a love-hate relationship with hot chocolate, however:
I love how it tastes
I hate that it’s still one trillion calories
I love that I’ve had two mugs today
I hate that the second batch is almost gone!
Hot Chocolate On A Stick
There is a 3-4 hour chill time for the chocolate, so plan accordingly.
Prepare an 8x8 pan by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray. Place the chopped semi-sweet and unsweetened chocolates in a large heat-safe bowl.
Pour the heavy cream and condensed milk into a medium saucepan and whisk until combined. Put the saucepan over medium heat. Bring the liquid to a simmer, whisking frequently so that the condensed milk does not scorch on the bottom of the pan.
Once the liquid is simmering, pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and let it sit for a minute to soften. Begin whisking the cream and chocolate together, until the chocolate is melted and you have a shiny, smooth mixture. It will be fairly thick.
Pour the chocolate into the prepared pan and smooth it into an even layer. Allow it to sit and firm up overnight, or for 3-4 hours in the refrigerator.
Once the fudge block is firm, use a large, sharp knife to cut it into pieces. If you do squares you get about twenty-five pieces (five rows and five columns), or you could do longer rectangles like I did. For the smoothest cuts, rinse the knife in hot water and dry it between each cut. Skewer each block with a lollipop stick.
To make hot chocolate: heat a mug of milk (water does not work well in this instance) and add a chocolate block. Allow it to sit and soften for a minute, then vigorously stir until it is dissolved. I find it's easiest to use a fork to break up the chocolate, or a mini whisk would also work well.
Store Hot Chocolate On A Stick in an airtight container for up to a week at room temperature, two weeks in the refrigerator, or up to a month in the freezer.