Please note: below is an example of a recipe review I wrote for a food writing class. In future reviews, I will include the recipe and will most likely only review recipes that turn out well.
Rating (out of five): ***1/2
Chocolate lovers and first-time cooks inspired by the movie Chocolat would enjoy giving this recipe a try. This Madrileno Hot Chocolate recipe offers a little variety to the classic hot chocolate, but it may be a bit too rich for those who are used to North American instant hot chocolate. Enjoy this drink on a cold winter’s night or, if you wanted to start off your day like the Spanish, you could drink this for breakfast and start burning the calories early.
The ingredient list is short and the measurements can be adjusted to taste. Even though I’m a chocolate lover, I still found this drink quite sweet. The 1/2 cup of sugar together with the semi-sweet chocolate is a bit of an overdose. If I were to make this again, I would recommend using either unsweetened chocolate or only ¼ cup of sugar. Also, I found the texture to be quite grainy instead of smooth.
Unfortunately the recipe does not state the length of time it takes for the chocolate to thicken. I would suggest keeping the saucepan on low instead of removing it from the stove, or perhaps waiting a good 5 minutes or more for the chocolate to thicken. Adding an additional ¼ teaspoon of cornstarch might help as well, for a Madrileno Hot Chocolate is supposed to be so thick that a churro* should be able to stand alone in your cup. Perhaps including a simple cookie or pastry recipe from Madrid to accompany the drink would balance out the sweetness.
A note of caution: when testing your hot chocolate, be sure to use a new spoon each time, as the enzymes in your mouth can cause the cornstarch-based mixture to thin out. And be careful, this hot chocolate is really hot!!
*churro: a Spanish donut, but long and straight with ridges, often served with sugar or honey