A Life Changer: Le Chocolat Chaud

Thelma and Louise is one of my favorite movies of all time. Talk about girl power! I especially love the scene where Geena Davis’ character, Thelma, transforms into a completely new woman — more powerful and self-assured — after spending a night with then-unknown Brad Pitt as she “finally got laid properly.” I guess with an experience like that, life, as we know it, will never be the same.

Excuse me for comparing hot chocolate to hunky Brad Pitt, but that’s how I feel about the whole hot chocolate situation. Now that I have experienced the luscious le chocolat chaud the proper way, the only way, and the way it was originally intended, I can never go back to the powdery, just-pour-hot-water kind of nonsense. I’m ruined forever.

Hot chocolate in Paris is nothing like what you get in the states, unless you to go a reputable chocolatier like Jacques Torres in New York. When you order the drink at a café in Paris, you usually get the hot milk and the melted chocolate in a separate cup, and you get to mix it at your own table. The way the bittersweet liquid chocolate goes down your throat slowly, coating every inch of your chocolate-holic senses is so heavenly, I can only imagine that’s what spending a night with Brad Pitt felt like for Thelma.

Ever since I returned from Paris a few week ago, all I can think about is when I can go back there again (next summer or winter, maybe?).  I haven’t even finished organizing my photos and I have to fight the urge to book the flights to return to my favorite city in the world. But until I can save up more vacation time and money, I will live my life vicariously through the book, The Sweet Life in Paris, a memoir written by pastry chef / cookbook author, and expat living in Paris, David Lebovitz.

Thanks to his wonderful hot chocolate recipe and a funny anecdote about how he found the Paris’ best le chocolate chaud to “die for” that he writes in the book (which does not involve Brad Pitt), I can just close my eyes and pretend that I’m sitting at a neighborhood café, watching the Parisians walk by.

And the best part about this hot chocolate is that non-fat milk works as good as regular (for those watching your figures during the holiday season), and you can add a pinch of cayenne pepper and make it even more delicious!