Nani's Cranny

COPIA Hot Chocolate

COPIA was a center for wine, food and arts in Napa, CA. Unfortunately it is now closed. I was there a few years ago on Valentine’s Day and the focus was chocolate. We went to a chocolate class and tasted many degrees of chocolate. In my opinion, the darker the better. This is a favorite recipe of mine that I got from COPIA, created by Nicole Plue who was then the Pastry Chef at Julia’s Kitchen at COPIA. It is rich and delicious and makes a wonderful after dinner drink. In fact, dessert is not even necessary with this. It is YUMMY!


  • 4 1/2 ounces (3/4 cup) E. Guittard 61% Cacao Semisweet chocolate wafers
  • 3 cups half and half
  • 1 strip, about 1/2×3 inches, orange zest
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup brandy, (optional)

Place the chocolate in top of a double boiler. Place over simmering water and heat until melted. Meanwhile combine the half and half, orange zest, cinnamon stick and brown sugar in a large saucepan. Heat over medium heat to a gentle boil, then strain.
Slowly stir the melted chocolate into the hot half and half until blended. Add the the brandy, if desired.
Keep warm in the top of a double boiler over hot, not boiling, water. If the hot chocolate is overheated it becomes too thick (I used a small crockpot).


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