Tues., Feb. 4, 2020
The chalet trend has always made me laugh. I see these shows about “what’s your chalet style?” or how to DIY your cottage renovation. As if we can all afford one! Don’t get me wrong, these cottages are a great idea. Who could be against having a special place in the woods or the mountains, or on a lake? But the reality is, like most Canadians, I don’t have one. The closest I could get was to convert a space in my basement to feel like a cabin. Because to me, the chalet lifestyle is really just about creating an escape from everyday life, whether it’s in your garage, a cozy corner of your living room or your basement.
I do a lot of filming in my home kitchen, and most days there’s a crew of 20 in my house. The “cabin” is just for family. Now a few years old, I can see how important this retreat has become for my family. Thanks to an old-fashioned radio, a few cozy blankets and some hot chocolate with apricot whipped cream, it’s now a sacred space for my wife and I, our daughters and their grandmother to relax—no cell phones or gadgets allowed. When I say, “Are we going to have lunch in the cabin today?” everyone smiles, knowing we’re just going to the basement. But once we’re there, it’s special. It’s simple and unpretentious. And it’s all our own.
Hot Chocolate with Apricot Whipped Cream
3 cups (750 ml) milk
1 2/3 cups (400 ml) 35% cream
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 lb (225 g) dark chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup (75 ml) apricot jam
In a pot over medium heat, bring the milk, 1 cup (250 ml) of the cream and the spices to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Add the chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth.
In a bowl, beat the remaining cream with an electric mixer. Just before soft peaks form, add the apricot jam. Continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Serve the hot chocolate in mugs and garnish with the apricot whipped cream.