Thomas Jefferson once wrote to his pal John Adams and predicted that hot chocolate would surpass coffee and tea to become the favored beverage of Americans.   Tom's prediction didn't come to pass, but he was definitely onto something, because hot chocolate is still a favorite wintertime's drink in the U.S. And he wasn't the only founding father with a sweet tooth for the chocolatey treat; George Washington reportedly drank warm chocolate cream with breakfast.  

For thousands of years, chocolate was consumed only as a beverage because Americans didn't know yet how to transform cacao beans into chocolate bars.   Today, there's several ways of making and enjoying hot chocolate. I would advise, however, resisting the urge to make hot chocolate with one of those packages of powdered mix and try Thomas Jefferson's recipe below, from the website Tastebook. Enjoy!  

Thomas Jefferson's Hot Chocolate  

  • 2 1/2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • Pinch salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Hot milk  

1. In a heavy saucepan, combine the chocolate and water over medium heat, and cook until the chocolate is melted, smooth, and thick, whisking out any lumps.

2. Add the salt and sugar and continue cooking and whisking until both are dissolved.

3. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

4. In a chilled bowl, whip the cream and vanilla extract together. Stir in the cooled chocolate mixture.

5. Transfer to a container and store in the fridge. Add a heaping tablespoon of the mixture (or to taste) to one cup of hot milk to make the hot chocolate.

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