There are days when a small cup of hot chocolate feels like a warm hug, and brightens your day, no?  While there’s nothing better than enjoying a cup of ‘chocolat chaud’ in a beautiful French setting, enjoying delicious hot chocolate at home is also quite satisfying. Even in summer, it is a heavenly pleasure to drink a cup of hot chocolate in the morning for breakfast with a petite croissant. Chocolat Chaud, hot chocolate for a Queen.


Hot chocolate for a queen

Hot Chocolate for a Queen {and Kings}

In 1615 chocolate was introduced in France for the marriage of Louis XIII and Anne of Austria in Bayonne. During his reign, Louis XIV, made chocolate a popular part of the cuisine in his court at Versailles. But it was really Louis XV, a century later, who was most fond of chocolat chaud, hot chocolate. It is rumored that the king sometimes even made hot chocolate himself in the kitchens of his private apartments at the palace.

Hot Chocolate for a Queen

 

One of Louis XV’s many mistresses, Mme Du Barry, loved hot chocolate. Rumored to have aphrodisiac virtues, she loved nothing more than to sip hot chocolate in her boudoir.  Louis XV’s Hot Chocolate recipe has survived the centuries, his includes an egg yolk which I’m not 100% about, but only because it says “better if prepared one day ahead”  and they didn’t have refridgeration!

Hot Chocolate for a Queen

When Marie-Antoinette married Louis XVI in 1770, she brought her own personal chocolate-maker with her to the Court. He was given the official title of “Chocolate Maker to the Queen”. Her very favorite way to enjoy chocolate was as a drink. She began every day with a hot cup of chocolate with whipped cream. A special porcelain set was dedicated to serving the hot chocolate.

Marie Antoinette’s favorite hot chocolate was one her chocolate maker created just for her, combining chocolate with orange blossom and sweet almonds.  In the 18th century, chocolate was still a very expensive luxury,  so a daily habit of drinking hot chocolate was the kind of luxury only a queen could sustain.

 

Hot Chocolate for a Queen

By the 19th century cocoa beans became much more affordable for the rest of us mere mortals. Chocolate factories all over Europe and America were developed and made all sorts of forms of chocolates. Entertaining guests and serving  chocolat chaud was very popular and considered very gracious and elegant.  Beautiful Limoges chocolate pots and sets were coveted gifts that any hostess wished for.

Hot Chocolate for a Queen

I’m imagining ladies in drawing rooms all over Europe and the America’s drinking hot chocolate out of whisper thin heirloom porcelain cups while discussing the latest news of society. What fun!

limoges chocolate set complete

Limoges porcelain sets like this were made just for this purpose, and I was thrilled to find this one! This chocolate set has a tray….which is so rare to find. The tray makes it, doesn’t it? So beautiful, made and decorated by Haviland & CIE between 1888-1896, with the beautiful light blue and green wispy floral design Limoges is so beloved for. Hand painted gilt accents make this set even more spectacular!

Limoges hot chocolate set

 

I’m always drawn to chocolate antiques – from chocolate pots to chocolate bonbon spoons to chocolate baskets for serving, I love them all!

anatomy of a chocolate pot

 

 

Chocolate Antiques

 

We have silver for chocolates in the silver category here >, if you want to elevate your chocolate drinking.

Hot Chocolate for a Queen

There are plenty of great cafés in Paris where you can pause and enjoy a nice hot chocolate. The recipe below is from the Hotel de Crillon in Paris, which has been delighting guests with their version of chocolat chaud for decades.  This recipe is rich, satisfying and not too sweet.  A little goes a long way, it’s very filling. By the time you sipped the very last drop, you will be completely satisfied!
parisian cafe hot chocolate

THE BEST FRENCH HOT CHOCOLATE

Makes 7-8 cups:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 3/4 cups heavy cream
  • 3 3/4 cups whole milk
  • .75 oz of sugar
  • 2 oz 56% semi-sweet chocolate {56% cacao}
  • 1 oz 100% unsweetened chocolate {100% cacao}
  • 1 1/8 oz milk chocolate

DIRECTIONS:

1.In a large pot, combine the cream and the milk over medium heat, stirring frequently until just beginning to boil. Remove from heat, cover with a tight fitting lid and set aside.
2. In a double boiler, melt all the chocolate together. And then add in the sugar and stir to combine.
3. Pour the melted chocolate into a medium size bowl. Add one cup of the hot milk/cream mixture to the chocolate and whisk to combine until the texture resembles soft whipped cream.
4. Gradually incorporate the chocolate mixture into the big pot of milk and cream, whisking until well combined.
5. Warm the hot chocolate over medium heat for 5-10 minutes until it reaches the temperature you like. Serve immediately. If you do have any leftover, you can refrigerate it and slowly reheat it the next day or drink it cold, like a glass of chocolate milk.

ENJOY!

 

A BIENTOT

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