Cioccolata Calda (Hot Chocolate Italian-Style)

Ingredients: – 2 cups whole milk – 100 grams (about 3.5 ounces) high-quality dark chocolate, finely chopped – 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (adjust to taste) – 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

– 1.5 tablespoons cornstarch – A pinch of salt – 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional) – Whipped cream or marshmallows for topping (optional)

1. In a bowl, mix the cocoa powder, cornstarch, and a pinch of salt. Add a small amount of milk (about 1/4 cup) and whisk until you have a smooth paste. 2. In a saucepan, heat the remaining milk over medium heat until it's warm but not boiling.

1. Add the chocolate to the warm milk and stir continuously until the chocolate is completely melted. 2. Slowly whisk in the cocoa paste into the chocolate-milk mixture, making sure there are no lumps.

Continue to cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens to your desired consistency. This may take about 5-8 minutes.

Once the hot chocolate has thickened, add sugar to taste. Remember that the sweetness level can be adjusted according to your preference.

1. If you like, add vanilla extract for extra flavor and stir well. 2. Remove the hot chocolate from the heat and let it cool slightly before serving.

1. Pour the hot chocolate into cups and, if desired, top with whipped cream or marshmallows. 2. Serve immediately and enjoy your rich and indulgent Italian-style hot chocolate!

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