Chocolat à L’ancienne

Rate this recipe

Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Chocolate: The Food of the Gods


By Chantal Coady

Published 1993

  • About

The secret recipe of Rosa Cannabich, a contemporary of Mozart. This is a wonderfully unctuous drink, which I tasted recently. It was served to the “Court” audience in the inner sanctum during a performance called “Mozart au chocolat” by a troupe of French performers when they came to London. Mozart himself is reputed to have tasted this at Mannheim in 1778.


  • 6 oz (160 g) best-quality bittersweet (dark) chocolate, preferably with 61% cocoa solids
  • small pinch of salt
  • cups (18 fl oz/500 ml) milk
  • 1 tbsp superfine (caster) sugar
  • 2 tbsp glass dark rum
  • 1 demi-tasse cup (2 fl oz/50 ml) espresso coffee

For the whipped cream

  • ¼ cup (2 fl oz/50 ml) crème fraîche or heavy (double) cream
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • tsp superfine (caster) sugar

For the grated chocolate

  • ¾ oz (20 g) high-quality bittersweet (dark) chocolate


Make the whipped cream in advance. Chill the bowl in which you are going to whip the crème fraîche. Add the crème fraîche, milk and sugar. Beat with an electric hand-held beater, until stiff, but do not over beat or it will turn to butter. Chill until you are ready to serve the chocolate.

Finely chop the chocolate and place in a saucepan with the salt and ¼ cup (2 fl oz/50 ml) water. Melt over a low heat, stirring constantly and taking great care that it does not burn, or the flavour will be ruined.

When the chocolate is smooth and shiny, stir in the milk and then the sugar. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes. Be very careful because the chocolate bubbles up and thickens rapidly. Stir in the rum and coffee and boil 2 minutes longer. Beat the chocolate with a whisk to lighten it. When ready to serve, add a spoonful of the whipped crème fraîche to each portion of hot chocolate and top with grated chocolate.

In summer, this is delicious served chilled. Leave the chocolate to cool, then stir in some crushed ice. When it has melted, serve the chocolate with the whipped crème fraîche and grated chocolate.

To make the grated chocolate, put the chocolate in the freezer for 2 hours to harden. Grate with a sharp knife or a potato peeler. Although this recipe seems to break all the cardinal rules about heating chocolate and adding liquid, it does work, and is almost a meal in itself!

Part of