Last month when Mike and I went to Vail for our first weekend away as parents, we indulged in just about everything - massages, elaborate dinners, nice bottles of wine, sleeping in and very special (read : expensive) hot chocolate.

The Four Seasons in Vail is known for their Hot Chocolate - in fact, they call it "Haut Chocolate."  We ordered ours at the outside pool-front fireplace.  They brought it out on a silver platter, and poured it from a copper kettle (which is apparently, a traditional French Hot Chocolate pot) through chocolate lace that sits on top of the cup.  Then they topped it with house-made chocolate marshmallow, fresh whipped cream and Swiss chocolate shavings.

It was soooo special and so indulgent.  What I really loved about it, besides the presentation, was that it was not too sweet, but very smooth and rich and had a deep chocolate flavor.

This Hot Chocolate Recipe is my attempt to recreate that rich, not too sweet, Haut Chocolate.  I was planning to share it yesterday, but the 60 degree weather we had here didn't make it feel appropriate.  Now, that our temps are back to a comfortable 34 degrees (humph...), it is Hot Chocolate time again.

Homemade Hot Chocolate
rich and creamy

I find that grating the chocolate with a microplane makes the chocolate easier to melt and as it melts more quickly, it makes the chocolate creamier.  

4 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons sugar
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, grated
4 ounces milk chocolate, grated
1 cup of heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon of sugar

In a saucepan, heat the milk and sugar on medium just until it begins to simmer.   Meanwhile, grate the chocolate.  Also, begin whipping the cream and sugar until soft peaks are achieved.  Remove from heat and stir in chocolate.  Continue stirring until the chocolate melts.  Serve in mugs topped with the sweetened whipping cream.