Here in Quimper we have a lively cultural season, especially in winter, incuding a series of solo concerts which are entitled “Concerts au chocolat”. We also have one of the best chocolatiers in France (check out their website, they deliver all over the world). They come to the concert and serve us a cup of chocolat chaud à l’ancienne, and a little saucer with two beautiful chocolates. Their chocolat chaud is thick, rich and creamy, and very hot. Their chocolates are mouthwatering.
A l’ancienne (invariable adverbial phrase) = old-style, old-fashioned, traditional (pronounced a laan syenne, one hardly hears the first n at all),
anything that is made as it was yesteryear, anything that tastes good just as it did in times gone by. It is always nostalgic: ex: de la moutarde à l’ancienne (usually with whole mustard seeds), and is good marketing. The term is often used in recipes and cooking to denote traditional methods.
My recipe is a real chocolat chaud à l’ancienne = old-fashioned hot chocolate. Nothing like it.
For two people (two tea-cups) you will need:
- 325 ml milk of full cream milk (not UHT please)
- 35gr of dark chocolate squares (I got my cooking chocolate from the Comptoir du Chocolat, see link above)
- 1 ½ tbs powdered drinking chocolate (slightly sweetened)
- ½tsp ground cinnamon
- ½tsp ground coriander
- 1 heaped tbs of thick cream
- some sweetened whipped cream and a little extra powdered chocolate
- In a saucepan which will not be damaged by a whisk, heat the milk with the dark chocolate, powdered chocolate and spices. It is important to use a whisk and not a spoon or a fork.
- Whisking vigorously all the time, melt the chocolate and heat the milk to nearly boiling.
- Add the thick cream and whisk again. The mixture should be frothy.
- Pour into pretty cups with pretty saucers (not old mugs) and top with whipped cream sprinkled with a little powdered chocolate.
I think you will quickly find you are in heaven. But a little goes a very long way.