If you’re lucky, like we were, you’ll arrive in Budapest at night. And, after passing miles and miles of generic concrete highrises, you’ll look up and suddenly see the Chain Bridge sparkling over the Danube right in front of you.
I’ll argue with anyone -over a bottle of palinka, of course- that Budapest is the most beautiful city in the world. Yeah, that includes you too, Paris, Prague and Venice.
In December if you wander a couple of blocks south of the bridge, you hit Vörösmarty Square and the main Budapest Christmas Market…:
…which is as much about enjoying the food, as buying Christmas gifts…
and having an after-school holiday treat with friends:
We became fans of the thick, dark hot chocolate -almost like a melted candy bar- from a small shop, Levendula Kézműves Fagylaltozó, which has a couple of locations around town.
During the summer they serve ice cream. In the winter, though, they hone their hot chocolate skills. Lizzy, who has had her share of the good stuff at Angelina’s, thinks Levendula’s version is better. Their secret? Using really good chocolate and frothed milk instead of cream which keeps the richness under control. Levendula also offers flavored versions including mint and lavender, and our favorite, walnut.
This hot chocolate is so easy, it hardly needs a recipe.
- ½ cup really good dark baking chocolate, coarsely chopped (We used Valrhona 55%)
- ½ cup milk, 2% or whole
- Optional: Flavorings such as peppermint oil, nutella or lavender.
- Put chopped chocolate in the bottom of the serving cup, along with optional flavorings.
- Heat and froth the milk using a cappuccino maker or frother.
- Pour hot milk into the cup with the chocolate, retaining the foam for later.
- Stir until chocolate is completely melted, then top with foam.