Ft. Worth Star Telegram - December 01, 2003
Express Lane...The hottest chocolate
For after-caroling, for a tree-trimming party or for any winter festivity, what could be cozier than hot chocolate?
Hot chocolate always sounds so tempting, but somehow it never seems to taste as good as we remember from childhood. Unless . . . you make yours using Spain's Valor Chocolate a la Taza.
If you've traveled in Spain, this product may not be new to you, but if you haven't tried it, we guarantee you it will be a revelation. You break up the chocolate bar, melt the bits in hot milk and get the richest-tasting, most intense hot chocolate you've ever sipped. Just the aroma will put you in a cozy Norman Rockwell mood.
The bad news: We haven't been able to find it locally. The good news: You can order it online, including at www.tienda.com ($4.95 for a 10.5-ounce bar, which makes about eight cups)....... You can also order from www.tienda.com by phone at (888) 472-1022.
If you can lay your hands on the Valor chocolate, it needs no gilding (although a little whipped cream wouldn't be amiss, and it's customary in Spain to dip pastries in the hot chocolate). But if you don't have the bucks or the time to have it shipped before your party, use the best domestic or imported chocolate you can find -- Fiesta Marts have several from Mexico and South America -- and gussy it up.
Set up a hot-chocolate bar with whipped cream and various other toppings; possibilities include powdered cinnamon, whole nutmegs for grating, miniature baking chips (try butterscotch or mint), chocolate curls or shavings, crushed or whole candy canes or other hard mints -- even instant espresso powder. Used judiciously, flavored syrups are another possible addition; if you want an adult kick, try a mini-shot of your favorite liqueur. OK, if you must, miniature marshmallows, too.
Compiled by Amy Culbertson
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