Chocolata – a little glob of heaven found in the winter at almost every Israeli cafe. Pronounced “shokolatah” with soft European consonants, this is very different from your standard thin milk hot chocolate. I’ve yet to attempt to make one at home, but it’s on the list.
Here’s the best description I can come up with for what it tastes like: hot chocolate pudding. Yup. Made with dark chocolate and the very best cream, of course, but the consistency is right up there with Bill Cosby’s wigglin variety. Sometimes I’m tempted to see what would happen if I bought an individual made-for-a-school-lunch chocolate pudding and stuck it in the microwave. Because it’s really like that.
The Israeli chocolata comes close on the chocolate-satisfaction scale to Parisian chocolat chaud (that I’m afraid, will always take the cake in that department). But it’s the springy custardy consistency which makes it stand out from the average wintery chocolate beverages. You need a spoon to “drink” it.
Here is a very simple recipe (untried) that I’m translating from an Israeli website.
For 2 servings
- 100 g bitter chocolate
- 2 TBS honey
- 1 TBS sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 20 g butter
- 1/3 cup sweet cream
- ½ cup milk
- 3 tsp Amaretto
- 1 TBS Cognac
- 2 pearls of pistachio praline (optional)
In a saucepan on a low heat mix all the ingredients except the Amaretto, the Cognac, and the chocolate. Stir until all are well mixed, but do not bring to a boil.
When at a low boil, break the chocolate into small pieces and add to the mixture, stirring until entirely melted and combined. Add the Amaretto and Cognac and stir until the mixture becomes thick.
Remove from heat, pour into two ceramic cups, and top with a decorative praline.
Let me how it turns out if you try it!