Nothing defines winter quite like hot chocolate—something that's been evident around here as of late. And since I tend to fall somewhere in between the thick and thin debate, this chocolatiere by Bodum ($29.95 at Crate and Barrel stores) is right up my alley. It's meant to be used with actual chocolate rather than cocoa, yielding results that are decadent and rich—but as thin or thick as you prefer, depending on how much liquid you add.
The mechanism is simple: A propeller-style rod twirls around as you push it up and down, blending what's inside the pot and frothing it at the same time. It's fun to play with, but get excited and it'll cause overflow. The glass pitcher isn't only nice to look at and serve out of, but it's practical: Rather than making mugs individually or larger quantities on the stovetop, the pitcher easily holds four servings in each batch, making both prep and serveware a bit simpler and more refined.
My favorite twist? The chocolatiere makes it easy to infuse flavors—whether you add strips of orange zest, crushed candy canes, cinnamon sticks, or fresh raspberries, the flavors are easily whipped together with virtually no extra effort. If it's a little bit of a splurge for yourself, consider it the perfect hostess gift (and you might even get a reward!).
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