A chocolate Hazelnut hot chocolate from the legendary Ghirardelli chocolatiers.
For a brief time in my youth, I lived in the San Francisco area and that is when I became an ardent admirer of all Ghirardelli products. Ghirardelli is the oldest continuous chocolate manufacturer in America and has been based in San Francisco since 1852. Ghirardelli Square has been a landmark in that city since 1895 and draws many visitors each year. After years of living in exile, far from this chocoholics temple, Ghirardelli products finally began to appear on the shelves of our local grocery store, and my delight knew no bounds! Now, each year Santa is kind enough to slip my favorite hot chocolate into my stocking, and I do my best to make it last through the cold weather. Ghirardelli has five luscious flavors in their Old Fashioned Hot Chocolate line. I can recommend all except White Chocolate, but it must be good because they are always sold out whenever I reach for a canister! Of the remaining four (Chocolate Mint, Chocolate Mocha, Chocolate Supreme), Chocolate Hazelnut is my particular favorite. Each canister contains 16 ounces and they optimistically label it as making 20 servings. They suggest 3 tablespoons of their mix for 8 ounces of hot milk, however my usual mug is quite a bit larger than that and I like to add a little extra anyway. That is one of the perks about this product that I especially like, you can add as little or as much as suits your tastes. However, all the nutritional information is based on this 3 tablespoon serving. Nutritional Facts: Calories 80 Calories from fat 15 Cholesterol 0 mg Sodium 0 mg Carbohydrates 6% Dietary Fiber 5% Sugars 16 g Protein 1 g Vitamins A and C 0 % Calcium 0 % And Iron 2 % Personally, I couldn’t care less. They could list it as having a 2% content of Columbian Drug Lord and I’d only clutch my mug tighter! However, for those who do care about their nutritional content, please remember that th
is is in addition to whatever milk you use. Anyway, to finish with the dry facts… The Ingredients: Sweet ground chocolate Unsweetened chocolate Cocoa Sugar Soy lecithin Vanilla And both Natural and Artificial Hazelnut flavors Mmmm! Sounds tempting doesn’t it? No? Well then, let me share with you a little secret…I’m not hooked on this stuff because it’s good for me! Forget what’s in it and Taste it! The flavor is sweet, creamy, and darkly chocolate, full on the tongue with a pleasant mellow taste of hazelnut. Especially if you take a few extra seconds to be sure you have dissolved it completely into your hot milk. Should you add whipped cream or marshmallows, besides flirting with the danger of going into sugar shock, you will be delighted with how the texture just seems to go past creamy hazelnut chocolate on to some other plane of taste and texture. A little cinnamon doesn’t hurt either! Most powdered hot chocolates disappoint me by being too weak or tasting flat, not so with Ghirardelli! In a matter of minutes, you can have a hot mug of thick, rich, satisfying hot chocolate tailored to your own taste buds, all without the fuss of first mixing and cooking the powder into a syrup, like Hershey's! If you are not lucky enough to have a local store that carries Ghirardelli products, fear not! You can purchase these and many other fine chocolate luxuries from their website. This hot chocolate may be a bit pricey at around $4.00 EUR, but how can you put a price on such a delectable treat? After all, if you are going to indulge yourself, you may as well do it right! You’ll have to excuse me now, the wind is howling outside the window and I’ve just hit the bottom of my mug. Decadence calls!