Hot Chocolate

Today we slaved all day to our furniture and though we made lots of progress, our dream optimized kitchen is not yet complete. Alas, I lack an 8mm drill bit. Thus, I must trek out to a hardware store tomorrow to get some beefier bits in order to finish our improvements and start really cooking again.

We were so annoyed by this after spending six full hours putting together our Unterschrank (with which we are quite impressed) and another solid two constructing a coffee table (yay! haven’t had one of those since we moved to Germany five years ago) that we needed to console ourselves with a little liquid comfort. Now you can too:

150 g of nice dark chocolate — shoot for about 70% cocoa content
3 teaspoons sugar
3 cups whole milk

Heat the milk and sugar together on medium low heat until very steamy and bubbles form around the edges. Stir it constantly and don’t let it boil.

Meanwhile, melt the chocolate (we use a double-boiler, known in German as a Wasserbadtopf, we think). Our double boiler has a little stick thermometer and we’ve noticed that it starts to melt at around 30°C and is pretty much done melting by the time it reaches 60°C.

Whisk the liquid chocolate into the milk/sugar mixture. Different chocolates will yield variations in thicknesses (and textures in general — some chocolates had a rather gritty texture). Enjoy it straight from the pan or share it if you must. Some whipped cream on top wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, either.

We got inspired to improve upon the powdered stuff after Angelina knocked our socks off back in November. We haven’t cracked her secret recipe quite yet, but we’re getting ever closer and the attempts are always worth it.

Safari 4 Beta Out

I’m writing this with the Safari 4 beta for Mac OS X Leopard.

First impressions:

  • Whoa, it’s fast.
    I’d seen Safari billed as the fastest browser out there, but had never seen anything close to approximating fast on Safari in the past — neither Windows XP nor this Mac. Definitely not the fastest browser on my lap or desktop. But I kept it around anyways, because it has its uses. As long as the final version of Safari 4 stays this fast, this will become the primary browser on the Mac for sure. I haven’t read up on it; I’m not sure if it’s the rendering engine or what, but this program simply feels fast while I’m using it — especially when doing AJAXy stuff.

  • Tabs across the top
    Now why did they do that? For some reason, the tabs are the top-most thing in the program window now, and not the address bar. I guess it doesn’t bother me; Google Chrome does that too. It’ll just take some getting used to.

  • Keyboard Shortcuts
    I had to google this one to figure it out. Cmd+shift+arrow key moves you from tab to tab. This is useful information for us home-row typists. But why don’t they document that in the Safari help files?

  • Cover Flow
    You like that nifty graphical flip-through of songs in your iTunes library? Safari 4 beta gives you that for your browser history. It’s definitely a gimmick, but it’s neat.

  • Top Sites
    This looks like something they stole from Opera (probably the world’s ugliest browser!). But they made it pretty and fun and Apple-y.

So far, I’m enjoying it. Go get your own copy at (oh, sorry Linux fans. You’re still outta luck).