Please welcome the lovely Karen Van Der Zee!
There is lots of wonderful decadence in Italy, from bare-bottom statues to scrumptious food. If you were hoping for a tale about hot decadence of a carnal variety, you’ll be disappointed, but if you are a foodie and a chocoholic, good. This one is for you.
Although I’ve been to Italy half a dozen times or so, I’d never been there during the winter months and so never came across the cioccolata calda, hot chocolate, which is pure, well, decadence. It is not related to what in the US or my native Holland you might call “hot chocolate,” so read on:
One cool February afternoon in Rome (a couple of years ago) I spooned empty this mug while sitting on a little terrace warmed by gas heaters in Via della Carozze near the Spanish Steps. I thought I had died and gone to chocolate heaven. (Fortunately dinner wasn’t until 9, Italian style.)
I said spooned, because it is too thick to drink. It was fabulous, it was yummie delicious, it was out of this world.
And yes, I have a recipe! It works beautifully and tastes just the way I had it in Rome. I use 72 – 75% dark chocolate. The better the chocolate the better the hot chocolate will be (imagine that), so don’t try this with some cheap stuff.
As I write this, I am not in Italy, I am in the South of France. It is January. Hard as this may be to believe, it is cold and the wind is howling around the house. Not any kind of wind, mind you, but a really, really nasty wind that goes by the name of Tramontane, and it offers up air straight from the North Pole and if you don’t believe it, click on the link and all will be revealed to you. Clearly, on a day like this, what would be better than a cup of Italian cioccolata calda? So here’s the recipe:
ITALIAN CIOCCOLATA CALDA
1 ½ cups (3.5 dl) whole milk (or part heavy cream)
2 Tbsp (30 g) sugar
3.5 oz (100 g) good quality dark chocolate, 70% or higher, broken into pieces
2 tsp (10 ml) cornstarch (cornflour)
Take about 4 Tablespoons of the milk and set it aside. In a medium saucepan, over low heat, slowly heat the rest of the milk and the sugar.
When the sugar is dissolved and the milk is hot, but not boiling, add the chopped chocolate and stir until it is melted.
Mix the cornstarch with the reserved milk and add it to the chocolate mixture in the pan. Stir until the mixture thickens.
Pour into mugs or cups and serve immediately.
This makes 2 large or 4 small servings.
You can serve whipped cream (the real deal!) on the side or on top for added decadence. Also nice is a sprinkling of cinnamon.
This is a basic recipe and from here you can get creative by adding some coffee liqueur, or any other liqueur, some vanilla flavoring, etc
I’ve seen cioccolata calda served in very small cups, and even thicker than this recipe, but I’ve not tasted or tried that version.
The original recipe came from bell’alimento.
Now go try this and tell me how you like it!
Monday, March 9, 2015
Thursday, March 5, 2015
1½ shots Godiva® Chocolate Liqueur
1½ shots crème de cacao
½ shot vodka
2½ shots half-and-half
1. Pour all of the above into chilled martini glass or mix in a shaker with ice and then pour into glass.
2. Garnish with chocolate shavings, whipped cream and/or chocolate syrup.
3. Enjoy an orgasmic experience with your favorite model, hero, or A Model Hero.
The restaurant scene, then, had done its job. Gretchen would have to send Jamie flowers. No, she’d send a box of fattening chocolates instead. “Did you enjoy your evening after I left?”
Kyle’s gaze narrowed, he pushed himself out of the chair. “Did you arrange with Jamie to drop by our table?”
“How could I, when I had no idea where we were going for dinner until we were there?” Not to mention, she’d have preferred to sever essential body parts than ask Jamie Feldman for anything. But her irrational possessiveness was her own problem. “The important thing is you had a good time, and you’re ready to make up for everything you’ve been missing over the past year.”
“Those things aren’t important at all.” He advanced on her slowly.
She took a step back and came up against the door she’d closed a moment before.
Kyle flashed a predatory smile. He took her purse and briefcase from her shoulder, setting them aside. Then he rested his forearms on either side of her head and stared into her eyes, his lips a scant inch from hers as he spoke. “I’m here for you. Our date deserves another shot.”
Her heart thundered. The thick eyelashes framing his gray-green eyes mesmerized her. He stood too near for her to formulate a coherent response. This much physical perfection and sex appeal should be outlawed. Her mind was not equipped to handle it.
“What do you say?” he asked.
Yes, take me. “I say, why me?” Her voice rose with an embarrassing squeak as she struggled to compose a rational argument and remind herself she was in her office, just feet away from her employees who’d never seen her anything less than one hundred percent professional. “I get why you went out with me on Saturday. You’d shut yourself away from the world, and I was the first woman to find you. But you’ve been reminded you can have Jamie or anyone else you crook your finger for. Why do you still want me?”
His gaze softened with a tenderness that pierced her heart. He brushed his thumb along her cheek. “How could I not want you, Gretchen? You’re smart and funny and beautiful and not afraid to let a guy who has no idea what you like order for you on a first date.”
Gretchen Meyers is a full-figured woman living in a model thin world. Desperate to end her mother's constant, nagging stream of dieting and fashion “advice,” Gretchen tackles the challenge of reviving her mother’s faltering modeling agency. All she needs is to woo back Kyle Ramsey, once the hottest model in the country.
Making the preemptive choice to turn his back on his career seemed Kyle’s only option until Gretchen comes calling. He doesn’t care what she wants to offer him, the answer is no. Still, he’s intrigued by her refreshing personality and all her lovely, lush curves.
When tragedy strikes, Kyle finds comfort and healing in Gretchen’s arms. But he can’t trust her with his career-ending secret and she doesn’t believe their relationship will survive the long term. He’s perfect and she’s not even close. Can the fragile ties holding them together survive Kyle’s opportunity to become a true model hero?
Author Bio: Sara Daniel writes what she loves to read—irresistible romance, from sweet to erotic and everything in between. She battles a serious NASCAR addiction, which she might have incorporated into one or two personal fantasies. And she was once a landlord of two uninvited squirrels, which thankfully have never been part of her fantasies.
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