24oz whole milk
3 tblspns cocoa powder
1 package (11.5 oz) chocolate chips (preferably bitter or semi sweet, higher cocoa content)
1/16 tsp corn starch (1/2 of a 1/8 tsp)
In a medium saucepan (not too small, milk will double or triple in size when boiling, but also not too large, or too much product will be lost on the sides of the pot) whisk the cocoa powder into the milk on high heat.
Remove a tbls or two of milk and place in a small dish or shot glass. Add the 1/16 teaspn of corn startch to the small amount of milk, and mix in, dissolve it, so there are no lumps, then add it to the main pot of cocoa milk. Keep stirring and whisking until milk comes to a full boil. A full boil needs to be achieved to activate the thickening power of the corn starch, but only for a couple of seconds.
Be careful not to let milk boil-over. I move the pot on and off the flame at this point, to make sure I got a good activation of the starch, but without cooking the milk to death. Turn off heat, while continuing to stir/whisk, to help milk cool down a bit, stabilize. I then add the chocolate chips to the pot, and continue to stir, letting the residual heat of the milk melt the chocolate.
When I feel the chocolate has been thoroughly integrated, I pour it through a small mesh strainer and into storage container (sometimes using a funnel for help) and refrigerate. The hot chocolate base will thicken when it cools down, almost to a thin pudding or gravy consistency, but will thin back out when reheated and mixed with flavoring alcohols and such. The base should keep refrigerated for a week or two.
(Copyright 2010 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)