Taste of Europe Series: Cinque Terre – Italian Hot Chocolate

It was rainy the whole day we were on the Cinque Terre hike, so of course, we had to stop at the bar that hangs off the cliff on the Via del Amore going from Riomaggiore to Manarola.

We got one glass of the Cinque Terre grappa and a mug of hot chocolate. The Hot chocolate was phenomenal. The grappa? Yikes! It seriously tasted like nail polish remover smells. So I wouldn’t recommend that.
However, the chocolate was well worth the buy.

Or the make, as the case may be….

Via del Amore Hot Chocolate

2/3 c. sugar
1/4 c. cornstarch
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
3 1/2 c. milk
4 lg. egg yolks
2 t. butter
1 t. vanilla

In  a medium sauce pan, whisk together sugar, starch, salt and cocoa. Slowly pour in 2 1/2 cups milk…

 …whisking until well combined.

Separate the yolks from the whites and whisk the yolks into the chocolate mixture.

 Now turn the heat on to med-high. Be ready to whisk continually for several minutes.
Keep whisking….or ask a brother to take over.
Only a few more minutes now….
You can do it!

Locals walking home from the market.

Just before you feel like you can’t take it any longer, the mixture will start to thicken. Yes! It’s thrilling!
When it’s a bit thinner than pudding, remove the pan from heat and whisk in remaining cup of milk, vanilla and butter.
The perfect texture is when you can blow the chocolate in ripples on your spoon.
Pour into mugs and top with whipped cream.
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