4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, split crosswise (see tips, below)
1 1/2 pounds high-quality semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
8 ounces milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch process
Place sugar in large bowl. Split half vanilla bean lengthwise, scrape seeds into sugar, and add pod. Work seeds in with your fingers. Cover snugly with plastic wrap and let stand overnight at room temperature.
In food processor fitted with metal blade, process semisweet chocolate and milk chocolate until finely ground, using 4-second pulses. (Process in two batches if necessary.)
Remove pod from sugar. Add ground chocolate and cocoa powder to sugar and whisk to blend.
Store mix airtight at room temperature for up to six months.
To serve:For each serving, heat 8 ounces milk in small saucepan over medium heat until scalded (or microwave 2 1/2 minutes at full power). Whisk in 1/4 to 1/3 cup mix. Serve with unsweetened softly whipped cream or marshmallows.
Tips: •Save the other half of the vanilla bean for another use, such as a second batch of vanilla sugar, which keeps indefinitely and can be used in baking, coffee, or simply to sprinkle on fruit or waffles.
Even better top with your own homemade marshmallows. I will post that recipe down the road. I have made them a few times and boy, are they good. Melt in your mouth, pillow soft, and boy do they toast up nice over a campfire....
Rich and steaming, a mug of hot chocolate will help soothe away the winter cold. We are expecting a winter storm in the form of 8-12" of beautiful snow in the next day or so, a mug of hot chocolate is just what I will be mixing up. Keep warm!