I think I need to call Valentine’s Day out for what it truly is (or, in this case, was). It’s an excuse to buy your loved ones presents, to go out for dinner, to drink a bottle of champagne together. And do you know what? That’s ok! I’m all for finding reasons to eat lobster (as Eric and I did this past weekend) or whip up some chocolate souffles.
But, really, Valentine’s Day is just like any other day… and it’s important to do special things with your guy or gal every once in a while. There’s no need to have a reason to do it. Want to buy them a present? Do it! Purchase a special bottle of wine to have with dinner? Go for it!
The main thing is that you do something or eat something that you wouldn’t normally have. Decadence is key. And, in my opinion, there are few things more decadent than homemade hot chocolate.
The first time I had “European hot chocolate” was in Paris when I was 15. And, from there, I was a changed man. No more packets of instant hot cocoa (if you could call it that) with dehydrated marshmallows. If I was going to make it, it was going to have to be done right.
And now I can’t think of anything that’s more romantic than some thick, rich, hot chocolate.
European Hot Chocolate
1 cup milk
1 1/2 oz. semisweet chocolate, shaved
whipped cream or creme fraiche (optional)
Split the chocolate in half, but reserve a couple teaspoons, and put it in two mugs. Heat milk in a saucepan over medium heat, making sure to stir continuously. When it starts to foam, take off heat and pour into each mug. Stir until the chocolate has fully incorporated. Top with whipped cream or creme fraiche and some chocolate shavings.