Way too many years ago (December 17, 2005-January 7, 2006,) I had the privilege to visit some friends in northern Italy. My friend Diego took me to his home village up in the mountains (near where the skiing competition of the 2006 Winter Olympics were held), by the name of Perosa Argentina. It was a magical visit. I was lucky to get to spend Christmas in this little mountain village with Diego's family. I remember going to Midnight Mass in the old parish church and after the Mass, drinking mulled wine in the church square. Another memory I have is of Diego's mom making me Italian hot chocolate. Ever since that visit I intended to ask Diego's mom for her recipe, but kept forgetting. Finally last week I remembered to ask Diego to speak to his mom and today I received her recipe. I guarantee you, this will be the best hot chocolate you have ever tasted. This how Diego said his Mom said to do it:
"For 2 persons:
1/2 liter (1,1 pint) of milk [just a touch more than 2 cups]
120 g (4,2 oz) of dark chocolate [4 1/4 squares of cooking chocolate]
20 g (0,7 oz) of cocoa powder or chocolate powder (if you prefer a sweeter flavor) [4 teaspoons]
20 g (0,7 oz) of cornstarch [4 teaspoons]
20 g (0,7 oz) of sugar [4 teaspoons]
the cold milk, the cornstarch and the cocoa (or chocolate) powder into a
saucepan and heat up. Melt the dark chocolate in a microwave oven.
Bring the milk (with cocoa powder and cornstarch) to the boil over a low
flame, mixing all the time then add the melted chocolate. To increase
the density of the chocolate, boil for longer. If a less dense chocolate
is required, add more milk. Remove from the flame and enjoy the
chocolate by adding sugar to suit personal preference."
Many thanks to my dear Italian friends!