Okay, we still cannot put down the snow shovels. The East Coast is targeted once again. Here in New York City we missed last week’s two+ feet of snow.  But starting tonight we are getting a foot or more of our own. You can see people walking down the street, heads pointed at the sky. It’s like an early scene from a disaster movie.

I am not about to discuss global warming here.

I am going to discuss personal warming.

In my lifetime, I have made thousands of mugs of hot chocolate. It my favorite beverage — cocktails aside. This recipe for my ideal hot chocolate is just that ideal.  It rivals Angelina’s in Paris — the secret is the constant whisking and heavy cream which generates a beverage with body. You’ve had watery hot chocolate all your life, and this recipe is the solution for wimpy, tepid beverages. 

If you add the Caramel Whipped Cream from the second recipe below, then you have a beverage that tops anything in Paris, or Vienna, or anywhere.  It’s a real tears-to-eyes experience.  Just like in the movies.

Pressed for time? Okay, regular whipped cream will do. So will marshmallows or marshmallow fluff. I’m assuming you have a fully stocked kitchen.

If you can spend the time, if that snow has you trapped at home anyway, then the caramel whipped cream is something you will treasure.  You know how after a day or so regular whipped cream begins to separate and needs to be rewhipped a bit?  Not this caramel variety, which maintains its integrity for at least three days. [It might last longer but truthfully I had consumed everything spoonful with 72 hours.]

With this hot chocolate, you can chill about the snow.  If fact, you may turn on the Weather Channel and start rooting for that next storm.


Brian’s Ideal Hot Chocolate

Yield: Makes 1 serving


2 ounces SB semisweet chocolate chopped
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ cup heavy cream
¾ cup milk


Combine heavy cream and milk.

In a sauce pan, place chopped chocolate, sugar and ¼ of the cream-milk mixture.  Over medium heat, stir with a wooden spoon until the chocolate has completely melted.  Add the remaining cream-milk mixture.  Whisk on medium heat for 2 minutes.  Simmer for 3 minutes.  Do not boil.

Source: Brian O’Rourke


Caramel Whipped Cream Frosting


1 cup light brown sugar, packed
¼ cup water
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
⅛ salt
2 cups heavy-whipping cream [divided]



Meanwhile, for the caramel whipped cream frosting, in a medium heavy skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat, stir together the brown sugar water, 2 tablespoons butter and the salt until dissolved. Bring to a boil. Cover and boil for 2 minutes, letting the steam wash down the sides of the pan. Uncover and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes without stirring until the temperature reaches 260°F. The mixture will darken at the edges and become fragrant as it caramelizes. Tilt the pan to swirl the caramel and ensure even caramelization. Remove the pan from heat stir in the remaining butter and ½ cup of the heavy cream. Pour into a large bowl and let cool until just barely warm — almost room temperature. If it’s thickens so it won’t pour, add a bit of warm water to loosen. Beat the remaining heavy cream to soft peaks. Fold a quarter of the whipped cream into the caramel to lighten it. Gently fold in the remaining whipped cream

Source: Baking Unplugged by Nicole Rees