It’s almost that time, friends!! Time for the jolly, fat dude with his beasts of burden to come traipsing into our homes, unannounced, and take credit for all of our budgeting and expenditures! Not only are we expected to make him the hero of Christmas, we also need to feed him and offer him some libations to indulge in. I say no! Instead, let’s make this Hot Truffles Chocolate recipe, some gingerbread men, and eat and drink it all up ourselves. Yeah, I like that idea better. Let’s be as corrupt as possible.
I’m not a scrooge, but I also have a hard time giving a certain someone too much shine. Maybe that’s a sin in itself. Unfortunately (or fortunately, it depends on who you ask), our children never really “believed”, and we weren’t keen on keeping up the story. Of course, we’re not total Grinches, so we made sure they knew not to ruin it for their friends; we just signed our gifts, “From: Mamá and Papá”. No one was devastated and we didn’t feel like pawns in the North Pole conspiracy.
But, while we don’t include the Big Guy in our Christmas traditions, we still honor many other ones. Our favorites are popping popcorn, making marshmallows, plunking them into a mug of this decadent hot truffles chocolate. We cuddle under fluffy duvets and binge watch Christmas movies like: The Grinch who Stole Christmas, The Polar Express, Miracle on 34th St and always end the evening with A Christmas Story (*you’ll shoot your eye out*). By the time we’ve finished our marathon, the Twinks are either pinging off of the walls or dead to the world in a sugar coma. Either way, great memories are made and this chocolate wonderfulness is the main reason why.
I created this Hot Truffles Chocolate recipe after lapping up a bowl of le chocolat chaud in Le Paris. We were in the City of Love picking up the Soldier’s aunt and uncle who were coming back with us to Germany to visit with their soon-to-be one-year-old great-niece and nephew. The hot chocolate in Paris was nothing like what I’ve had growing up- and we had some pretty righteous hot chocolate! I’ve only recently come to experience what the majority of the U.S. considers “hot chocolate” and it usually involves an envelope of brown powder mixed with water. For many Latinos, however, chocolate caliente consists of a brick of Chocolate Cortes, queso de papa (cheese), some soda crackers and an Abuelita (grandma).
Now, all of that may sound weird to the layman (it actually sounds weird to me reading it back), but it works. Chocolate Cortes is just a name brand of a brick of chocolate that originated in the Dominican Republic and was brought to the states by way of Puerto Rico. A nice hunk of queso de papa (which translates to potato cheese, but it’s really more like a cross between cheddar and colby) is deposited into the bottom of the mug and the hot chocolate created with the Chocolate Cortes is poured over. The mug is eaten with a few soda crackers from a big, green aluminum can which you feebly attempt to use as a spoon to scoop up the now lava-like cheese. Abuelita (or Mami) comes around to tell you you’d better finish or she’ll hit you with a chancleta. That was my hot chocolate growing up.
But the French.
The French have hot chocolate on lock!
Their hot chocolate is more like a hot chocolate sauce. More like…hot chocolate luuuuuvvv. It’s sensuality in a mug. Just thinking about it makes me feel like I should go to confession- and I’m not even Catholic! It’s sinful, you all. Straight purgatory in a cup. But, we’ve all fallen short, so we may as well indulge. Hence, the reason I needed to make this happen. I guess that makes me a kind of “sin-pusher”. I don’t think I’m proud of that. But, actually, I think I am. (Heathen)
Le chocolat chaud is a simple mix of dark chocolate and milk, sweetened with sugar. My hot truffles chocolate is just what the name implies: a chocolate truffle mixed with milk and drank. Drunk. Drinken. Some help here?!?!
I am a “yuge” fan of chocolate truffles. So much so, I joined Godiva’s rewards program just so I could get my free truffle every month (sometimes I just don’t feel like making them, y’all). So, I thought, “Why not turn truffles into a drink?” Why not, indeed. I scooped my chocolate ganache into fabulous little balls and put them into a mug. I poured warmed vanilla milk over it and had a moment. Well, a few moments, but this is a PG page, so I won’t go into details.
It wasn’t until imbibing on this drink for four days straight (that’s not judgment I’m feeling from you, is it?), that I stumbled- literally, I was on a severe sugar-high- onto the idea of add-ins.
“Is that a candy cane?!?! Gimme that!!!” (as I snatched a stick from one of the Twinks)
Watching the Soldier pour his cup of joe, “Hey! Pour that in here, lemme see what it tastes like!”
“I bet that s’more will taste good in my hot truffles chocolate!” I slurred, “But MA!!!!!” Twin B yelled.
“Pour some of that cinnamon whiskey in here. Now!” after a long, long day.
Add-ins are cool. But, adding them to this Hot Chocolate recipe is hot. Hot, in a good way, if you catch my drift. Huh? HUUUUH?!?! Yeah, you get it.
Whether you enjoy drinking it in its purest, luxuriously silky form, or if you like a little variety in your life, you’re going to need to stay close to your god in order to remain in a state of grace. This stuff is that hedonistic. But, I mean, really- this time of year, with dudes crashing your pad on Christmas and gift giving going awry, don’t we all need a little sensuality? What better form than hot chocolate? It’s less likely to leave you feeling bad about yourself. I think…I hope.
Truffles Hot Chocolate Recipe
Yield 12 servings
The different variations of this Truffle Hot Chocolate make this drink an endless mug of happiness.
12 oz dark (60-80% cacao) chocolate, in chips or broken in chunks
4 cups heavy cream, separated
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp brandy, cognac or vanilla extract
1/4 cup granulated sugar
6 cups whole milk (soy or cow's)
1 vanilla bean, split open lengthwise
crushed candy canes
crushed graham crackers
Over medium high heat, in a double boiler (or a metal or glass bowl placed over a saucepan filled 1/4 of the way with water), combine the chocolate, 2 cups of the heavy cream, brown sugar, and brandy.
When the cream begins to to steam, and the chocolate starts to melt, whisk gently to combine to form a smooth, shiny mixture. Remove from heat and place in the refrigerator. Whisk periodically until the mixture stiffens to solid mass.
While the ganache is firming up, make your whipped cream by combining the remaining whipping cream and the 1/4 cup sugar in a mixing bowl. Whip on high until the cream stands up in stiff peaks when the beaters are pulled from it. Place in the refrigerator for later use.
Once your ganache is firm, scoop out balls about 1" in diameter with a portion scoop or a tbsp. Place them on a parchment lined sheet pan and place in the fridge again to harden.
Once your truffles have hardened, place them into a quart-sized mason jar for storage.
To make your Hot Truffles Chocolate:
Pour the whole milk in saucepan. Scrape the seeds out of the vanilla bean and stir into the milk adding the vanilla bean pod as well. Heat over medium heat, or until small bubbles form on the outer edge of the milk. When the milk begins to steam, remove it from the heat.
Place two (or three, depending on how rich you want your cocoa to be) truffles into a heat safe mug. Strain the milk into a larger kettle or pour a cup of milk directly into the mug. Allow it sit for 10 seconds to begin melting the truffles before stirring.
Garnish with a spoonful of whipped cream, more to thin out the rich chocolate taste. Enjoy!
*See note for add-in recipes*
S'Mores Truffle Hot Chocolate add:
1/2 tsp crushed graham crackers and top with toasted marshmallows, whipped cream, and crushed graham crackers.
Adult version: add 1/4 cup marshmallow vodka
Peppermint Truffle Hot Chocolate add:
1/4 cup crushed candy canes and top with peppermint marshmallows, crushed candy canes and a candy cane.
Adult version: add 1/4 cup of peppermint schnapps.
Mocha Truffle Hot Chocolate add:
1/4 cup hot, brewed espresso, and top with whipped cream and ground espresso.
Adult version: add 1/4 cup coffee liqueur
Mexican Hot Truffles Chocolate add:
1/4 cinnamon simple syrup, a pinch of cayenne and top with whipped cream, a dash of ground cinnamon and garnish with a cinnamon stick.
Adult version: substitute a 1/4 cup of cinnamon whiskey for the simple syrup.
Talk to me!! Tell me what your Christmas Eve traditions are in the comments below.