Sister Redempta, the Depression era nun from Moon Over Manifest might suggest sugar or even flour (not a stretch for you gluten avoiders). From painful memories of the good sisters in my childhood, I recall getting into major trouble when Sister Mary Kathleen caught me smirking over her suggestions for Lent – giving up chocolate.
The movie Chocolat famously spurred a following for hot chocolate with a zing – cinnamon and chili powder. My mother had an old Italian recipe called Nun’s Revenge; I once saw a version of it in Bon Appetit. Here’s my mother’s sweet revenge – suck it up, Sister.
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (not whipping)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 ounces shaved chocolate (best you can find – with high cacao count)
- 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
Make a paste of cornstarch with a little cream. Warm rest of cream over low to medium heat to almost boiling; add paste and sugar to slightly thicken. Remove from heat, stir in chocolate until smooth. Pour into small espresso cups and sprinkle with cardamom.