Chocolate and Milk Toast | When Comfort is Needed

Thoughts on comfort food and a quick and easy chocolate snack.

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“Comfort food”:  a simple phrase with a multi-faceted meaning. In the most basic terms, “comfort food” refers to food that makes you feel good.  It can be the food from one’s childhood, but not always.

It can be a food eaten to make you feel better, or a “guilty pleasure”, something you indulge in.  It is most often simple and familiar in nature, and always emotionally charged.

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From a physiological and psychological perspective, the link between mood and food is clear.  We know that eating certain kinds of “comfort foods” — usually those high in carbohydrates — triggers the release of “feel good” hormones in our bodies that regulate mood.  It’s hard to articulate exactly why foods are comforting emotionally;  I suppose it’s a taste of memory.

We tend to associate these types of foods with happy memories, loved ones, or good feelings, and it is those feelings that we seek to recapture when we reach for our “comfort foods.”

When we are sad we crave food to overcome our feelings, seeking that temporary euphoric boost of well-being.  We reach for solace in the form of food.  It’s the gastronomical equivalent of a bandage.  Eating in this case has more to do with emotional security than with the food itself.

When we are happy we celebrate or reward ourselves with the foods that hold the most meaning to us, those that connect us to positive past experiences.  We make that special meal, or a loved one’s favorite dessert.  The comfort here is in the positive association between the historical, emotional significance of the food and our feelings in the present moment.

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Then there is food that offers comfort in the sheer act of eating it; that coddles the senses.  It’s the kind of food that we eat when we want to get cozy and enjoy a peaceful moment.

One of my favorites is a snack that requires little preparation — it’s simply a combination of toasted bread, warm milk and chocolate.

The bread is toasted, lightly buttered, sprinkled with bittersweet chocolate shavings and soaked in just enough warm milk to get it wet, but not soggy.  It’s the kind of food I want to eat in my pj’s curled up under a blanket, because sometimes comfort is needed.

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“Bread, milk and butter are of venerable antiquity. They taste of the morning of the world.”
—Leigh Hunt (1784-1859), The Seer

What’s your comfort?

Chocolate and Milk Toast Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Serving Size: Serves 1

A simple and comforting late night snack.

Ingredients

  • 2 slices gluten-free bread thinly sliced
  • Unsalted butter for the toast
  • 1TB (.5 oz / 12g) finely shaved bittersweet chocolate
  • ½ cup (120ml) milk (I used almond milk, but any type you like works, ½ cup is just a guide, use as much or as little as you want)

Instructions

  1. Toast the bread.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the milk over medium heat until steaming but not boiling.
  3. While the bread is still warm, lightly butter and place in a large shallow mug or small bowl.
  4. Sprinkle with shaved chocolate.
  5. Pour over milk to taste (at least enough to dip the bread in).
  6. Dip the toast in the warm milk and scoop up leftover bits of soaked bread with a spoon.

Notes

Gluten-Free, Vegetarian

http://gourmandeinthekitchen.com/2011/chocolate-and-milk-toast-recipe/
 Chocolate and Milk Toast | When Comfort is Needed


 

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  1. says

    Now this does sound like something that would be comfort food. My mom used to do something similiar, but with saltines & cold butter dipped into hot chocolate. It was addicting. I am going to have to try this.

    I have too many comfort foods to list and I’d forget to list many of them. But you’re right about the emotions and places and times you enjoyed the meal/dishes – childhood memories and loved ones present and past…these things are part of the comfort food package.

    Beautiful post, Sylvie. Have a great weekend!

  2. says

    This looks like comfort food whatever the mood! But it’s dangerous – being so easy to make I think I will be whipping this up often!

  3. Liz says

    Oh wow! What a simple but powerful food. For these cold days, weekend comming… is just what we needed!
    Thanks for the lovely recipe.
    And the photographs are stunning!!
    xoxo

  4. says

    Ooo, that looks SO good girlfriend! :-)
    I grew up eating bread and milk and I know how yummy that tastes, but wondering why did I never try mixing chocolate to it!I’ve never tasted almond milk, does it taste anything like the almond infused milk? Would love to try it once.

  5. says

    How simple & perfect is this comfort food. In good times and bad times – food does comfort. This bread with chocolate is happy food any time. xo

  6. says

    My comfort food is rice pudding, eaten piping hot, heavily dusted with cinnamon – it’s the food I make when I miss my mom too much.
    These toasts are wonderful, Sylvie! I love how decadent and delicious they look.

  7. says

    Oh what a great post, i love your simple comfort food. I have several comfort foods depending if i am craving sweet or not sweet. For non sweet it is spaghetti Bolognese for sweet it is usually Swedish milk chocolate which is very creamy and i get in Ikea.

  8. says

    The gastronomic equivalent of a bandage – I love that. When I saw your chocolate photo on flickr this morning I was so hoping you had a chocolate post and you didn’t disappoint! This is lovely!

  9. says

    I already feel the comforting effects of this chocolate milk toast after eating it with my eyes…I can only imagine how divine it will be when I actually eaten.

  10. says

    And that is why it is so hard to stay on a plan (or dare I say diet) … as those are typically the type of foods that one must stay away from and it’s very difficult to soothe those “band-aid” moments with out the comfort foods :( a daily struggle for me …

  11. says

    You know, I saw Nigella make milk toast (no chocolate) on her show one time….it was the first time I’d ever heard of it. You’re right, though….it does sounds so comforting! And with the chocolate! Even better!

  12. says

    I love your photography and the simplicity of this recipe. I might have to try it but turn the milk into hot chocolate since I tend to only drink rice milk and need something to reduce the wateriness.

  13. says

    beautiful photos as usual! i’m going to have to try this. when i need comfort i usually opt for peanut butter & chocolate sprinkles on toast, but these remind me of a breakfast i used to have as a kid – dried, toasted bread with warm milk & sugar poured over. not a very healthy breakfast, but so delicious.

  14. says

    I can’t think of anything more comforting than bread, chocolate and milk. Well, of course, there are lots of other foods, but I know I always turn to chocolate when I need or celebrate :) Beautiful photography!

  15. says

    I’ve never had this before but it sounds just lovely. There’s nothing more comforting than homemade bread, especially when it’s fresh out of the oven!

  16. says

    I definitely find rice comforting.
    I love the concept of your chocolate and milk toast. And I’ve never seen such pretty toast – your photographs are gorgeous.

  17. says

    What a brilliant idea…adding chocolate to milk soaked bread. Now why didn’t I think of that? I’m not sure what my comfort food is….perhaps dal and rice? Anything my mom makes is comforting!

  18. says

    Before I started blogging, I didn’t know the expression “comfort food” I think it doesn’t exist neither in Spanish nor in French…I think we should coin a word! What’s my comfort food? Thinking of my childhood…polenta, steak and Spanish tortilla…my mother’s food…now in France, la blanquette, steak au poivre..!

    • says

      No, I guess there isn’t a similar expression in French is there. The closest would probably be “un bon petit plat”, which is essentially what “comfort food” is most of the time.

  19. says

    This was my breakfast atleast twice a week when I was a school going kid ( minus the chocolate shavings). For me it is seems to be more like a forgotten comfort food. Thank you for reminding me of the wonderful breakfast – before – school times.
    Thoroughly enjoyed the post.

  20. says

    We all had something like this when we were little. My mother always put a poached egg on top sprinkled with a teeny bit of sugar….but no chocolate.

  21. says

    I love this post and your photos are just beautiful. It is reminding me of the cinnamon toast my Mom used to make – I love the addition of chocolate however – brilliant! I just found your fabulous blog and signed up to follow you. Stop by and visit me sometime at http://www.theglamorousgourmet.com. I look forward to your next delicious post – cheers!

  22. says

    I’ve never had anything like this before, but will have to try it. I like that your post discusses not only the “chemical” reasons some foods comfort us ( i.e. Serotonin), but also the memories that certain foods evoke to comfort us. For me, coffee and buttered toast is comfort food. This is what my grandmother ( whom I was named after) used to eat every morning. She was someone very special to me, so I always think of her when I eat this simple breakfast.

  23. says

    This is definitely a treat that I could get used to – This is delicious! Growing up my breakfast was more of a feta cheese and roasted pepper type of a toast. :)) Wasn’t as good as this chocolate and milk toast, but I did love it!

  24. says

    This would definitely comfort me! As always the photos are gorgeous.
    If I just need a quick pick me up chocolate always does the trick, but when I’m really down the best comfort food for me is pasta with a ton of cheese. That’s carb heaven to me.

  25. says

    I can’t imagine eating this and not feeling warm and comforted by it. I love warm milk, I love chocolate and of course, bread. You brought all three together so beautifully. :-)

  26. says

    A beautifully written and photographed ode to comfort food, Sylvie. I wish my favorite comfort food (Chinese porridge with pickled vegetables and fermented tofu) sounded or looked as good as yours ;p.

  27. says

    Seriously inspired, Sylvie! As you know, I greatly enjoy anything that’s considered “comfort food”… and this meets all of the requirements. Warm milk, bread, chocolate… I have NEVER thought to combine these ingredients into a single concoction.

  28. says

    Don’t know how many times I have come here just to look at your photographs Sylvie. Just your pictures gives me the satisfaction and comfort. For me right now comfort food is everything from back home in India. Never thought of combining these 3 ingredients to make such a delish treat. Yes, curled up with a book, in pjs and some bread and choc. perfect.

  29. says

    Found you via Candy Chat. My ultimate comfort food has always been toast and cocoa, so you have the same ingredients more or less. I will definitely give this a try!

  30. says

    Like we were discussing the other day, every culture has a bread an milk recipe. I think the whole world agrees on how utterly satisfying these two things can be together. With chocolate, this is pure pleasure Sylvie!I love the chocolate picture. So crisp and sharp.

  31. says

    Hi Sylvie-This bread looks fabulous! That photo of the chocolate alone brought tears to my eyes;) Could you come visit me w/a few slices, please?:)Comfort food to me is sometimes a warm cake fresh out of the oven. Or a plate of lasagne baked by my hubby. Just a couple examples:)

  32. says

    I haven’t had this in so long,how is it possible I forgot about milk toast? Most nights I go for sharp white cheddar on toast. I guess I lean towards savory…in the evenings ;)

  33. says

    Sylvie, my all time favorites if not an Israeli doughnut and choc milk for breakfast was baguette, choc spread and banana for breakfast. Love your photos as usual.

  34. says

    Oh what a gorgeous blog and what a nourishing post…sigh.
    While it’s true that I’m oh-so-comforted by foods high in carbs, I’m also comforted by cooking them. Adding one ingredient then another…mix…pour…bake…the familiar routine of putting together a dinner or baking a treat calms me on my worst day.
    And ya know what? Photos like yours make me feel washed in peace. Thank you
    xoxo
    Robin
    All Things Heart and HOme
    (I’m going to find your “follow” button :)

  35. says

    home run Sylvie! photos, story and all.
    toasted bread and butter is my go to comfort. along with a cup of real brewed leaf tea.
    (p.s. just headed back from my kitchen from making toast with chocolate: thanks for the temptation!)

  36. says

    this is crazy! crazy GOOD! I have never even heard of this, but this will be tonight’s after dinner snack, curled up on the sofa, with and episode(or two) of Friday Night Lights! Thanks so much, Sylvie, for introducing me to something that I know my family is going to thoroughly devour!

  37. says

    Wow. Gorgeous photos and such a simple (yet absolutely perfect) recipe. I wish I had found your site last night! This would have been just the ticket for winding down after a HUGE weekend.
    I’ll be back. :)

  38. says

    Chocolate is my all time comfort food. No matter the occasion or which comfort I need to satisfy. This is a fantastic recipe, love it! Your blog and photography are amazing.

  39. says

    This is definitely comfort food – such a simple, but wonderful dish. I can’t wait to try it out! And I love your close up shots of everything, simply stunning.

  40. says

    i have this often minus the chocolate. i just pour milk over toasted bread & sprinkle sugar on top of that. though bread pudding is my favorite too :D sylvie, you made a stack of bread look good ! you rock ;-)

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