i’m not a big drinker. by which i mean, whenever my husband has an alcoholic beverage, as i am reaching for it, he will tell me i’m not going to like it, i will cautiously smell it, then make a face, then take the world’s tiniest not-even sip (we’re talking an 1/8 teaspoon here) AND IMMEDIATELY MAKE A BABY’S FIRST LEMON FACE, combined with some violent head shaking, since i’m in my 30s and have stronger neck muscles than babies. every. single. time.
in fact, this obvious display of total revulsion is so reliable and so animated that a few of my friends love watching me “try” their drinks, as they know they can count on getting a good laugh out of my reaction. it’s like funny videos on you tube, but live.
all of this is to say, recently my husband made himself a white russian and as he was pouring in the lighter fluid, ahem, vodka, i remarked that i would like white russians, you know, at all, if the vodka was replaced entirely with chocolate and said that i intended to test my theory later that evening.
i thought this was a fairly clear sentence, but perhaps it was not, as a little while later, i heard my husband comment from the other room that he thought i might actually not mind white russians if they didn’t have vodka. at this point, i walked into the kitchen where he was standing and there may have been some exaggerated arm waving and some “yes! exactly! what did you think i meant by ‘replace all of the vodka with chocolate?!?’”. ::cough:: *may* have been…
so, later that evening, i tested my theory. and i was right. chocolate russians = yum. riffing off of the recipe for drinking chocolate, i melted a little bit of dark chocolate (51.8% cacao for this particular trial) with a bit of cream, then once it was all melty and good (think deluxe hot chocolate), i added a splash of kahlúa. (in truth, i didn’t add enough kahlúa at first, so then i added more, and then it was too much and lighter fluid-y, so then i added more cream and luckily the third time was a charm.)
of course then i googled “hot chocolate kahlúa” and discovered that this is totally already a thing. except that everyone else is using standard weak hot chocolate bases (keep in mind i don’t like chocolate milk or chocolate ice cream because they aren’t chocolaty enough) and i am using drinking chocolate. the way i see it, i (we?) win, but you can judge for yourself…
- 1 oz. (28 g.) bittersweet (58 – 72% cacao) chocolate from a bar or block, see notes
- 1/3 cup (76 g.) heavy cream
- 4 – 6 teaspoons of kahlua, to taste
- roughly chop or break the chocolate into pieces (a wooden cutting board creates less static than a plastic one).
- fill a small saucepan with an inch or two of water and set a small heat safe bowl over the pan (to create a makeshift double boiler). the water should not touch the bottom of the bowl. heat over medium heat.
- add the chocolate and cream to the bowl over the heat. whisk constantly, making sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl so the chocolate doesn’t burn. whisk until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. the chocolate mixture should be thick yet pourable.
- remove from heat and whisk in the kahlua, starting with the smaller amount and then adding more, to taste.
- immediately pour into your smallest mugs (espresso cups work well). serve immediately, but be careful not to burn your mouth. chocolate russians will thicken as they cool. leftovers can be stored in airtight container in the refrigerator for several days. the mixture will harden in the fridge. you can reheat it in the microwave if you promise to use a low power setting for short time intervals and stir frequently so that the chocolate doesn’t scorch.
for more guidance on what chocolate to use, see the notes for drinking chocolate.