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Serving Hot Chocolate at Cafe....Help?!


chocoera
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At our restaurant, we have the hot chocolate come out from the dessert station! It works better for us, making the hot chocolate fresh and in smaller batches (about 2qts at a time). We also serve it with house-made marshmallows and spiced almonds, so it's pretty simple to plate as well. We store it in easy-pour containers, and only heat what we need when we get an order in a small sauce pot.

Our recipe is a combination of milk, 1/2 & 1/2, water, sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract and 65% chocolate. Let me know if you're interested, I'll send you the recipe!

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christinajun, that sounds wonderful, i would love to try your ratios out :) depending of course on your viscosity, what size of cup is it served in? do you offer a few sizes/ounce options? and is it marketed as a dessert or drink?

i hope to try out a few things in the next week or so to figure out best methodology for serving in my type of atmosphere(more dessert/coffee cafe-ish) :0) i'm feeling i may have to give up on a favorite recipe because i'm not sure how it'd work without making the entire batch from scratch everytime, and if someone orders it as a drink, people usually want it a tad speedier (compared to sitting down, and drinking it as a dessert, where you expect to wait for that lovely sweet ending!)

thanks again! (ps: with your dessert station...is that portable? like using an induction burner? or just the area in your kitchen used for prepping and plating desserts?)

have a happy thanksgiving!!!

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I am no expert on these matters but why not make a homemade thick chocolate/cocoa syrup and mix it with steamed milk and/or hot water? That way you can get the right chocolate/cocoa balance and it can be floavoured with anything - caramel, mint, mocha - the sky is the limit. Also, it would keep well, keeping costs down

Edited by Mette (log)
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This hot chocolate product is probably known to everyone but me... :rolleyes:

Yesterday went to confectionery partner's house and she served us little hot chocolate cups. Delicious. She made the hot drink directly from dark chocolate in a chocolatiere. We tried a local winery's raspberry syrup in it.

But the product she showed us was given to her son and consisted of a cellophane package inside of which were some dark chocolate callets, some milk chocolate cubes and some tiny marshmallows, complete with instructions on how to use in a cup of hot milk. This might be a lovely product to offer at your till. I am thinking of putting together a few packages for folks like the mail lady, etc.

Edited by Darienne (log)

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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that sounds like a wonderful idea! were the marshmallows homemade? how thick was your chocolate drink? and i love the idea of the raspberry syrup in it! mmmmmmmmmm

Lost my reply...darn. OK. Here goes again.

The chocolate drink was homemade. The syrup was from BC, a sort of high class DaVinci syrup.

The packaged hot chocolate mix was a brilliant concept with a dreadful execution. The 'chocolate' was awful. No one even tasted the commercial tiny marshmallows.

However, I have been sussing out this 'hot chocolate on a stick' concept and here are a few URL's with different recipes for that. I am just printing out the URLs because I am out of time today... :hmmm:

http://www.thekitchn.com/thekitchn/recipe-review/recipe-review-hot-chocolate-on-a-stick-101625

http://www.bigredkitchen.com/2009/10/how-to-make-hot-chocolate-pods.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/02/dining/02stuf.html

http://giverslog.com/?p=3290

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Here's a ganache type chocolate milk that might work for you.

clicky

Xoco, Rick Bayless' new 'street food' place is doing several Mexican oht chocolates. website is here but doesn't really say much about the chocolates. A menu is posted here with the sizes and types of chocolate. There is another pic later in the thread. Lots of info about how people like the chocolates, but not about how they are made. I asked for more info.

Hot Chocolate in Wicker Park Mindy Segal's restaurant, also, of course, has hot chocolate on the dessert menu.

I realize those are vastly different resources, but hopefully something will be helpful. :smile:

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christinajun, that sounds wonderful, i would love to try your ratios out :) depending of course on your viscosity, what size of cup is it served in? do you offer a few sizes/ounce options? and is it marketed as a dessert or drink?

i hope to try out a few things in the next week or so to figure out best methodology for serving in my type of atmosphere(more dessert/coffee cafe-ish) :0) i'm feeling i may have to give up on a favorite recipe because i'm not sure how it'd work without making the entire batch from scratch everytime, and if someone orders it as a drink, people usually want it a tad speedier (compared to sitting down, and drinking it as a dessert, where you expect to wait for that lovely sweet ending!)

thanks again! (ps: with your dessert station...is that portable? like using an induction burner? or just the area in your kitchen used for prepping and plating desserts?)

have a happy thanksgiving!!!

It's marketed as both, on the dessert menu as well as with a list of our coffees and teas. We serve it in an 8oz cup, but 6oz portions to leave room for creme fraiche whipped cream and chocolate curls.

We used to have it come from the front of the house rather than the dessert station, but we found that our baristas weren't making it as fresh as we prefer (it does keep for a week as long as it's chilled properly). They would just re-heat it at the espresso machine using the milk steamer, which sounds something that would work better for you.

Here's the recipe if you would like to try it:

1qt whole milk

2c water

2c 1/2 & 1/2

1/2c sugar

1/2c cocoa powder

1/2tsp vanilla extract

12oz 65% chocolate, melted

Boil the water and cocoa powder together, whisking constantly. Add the whole milk, 1/2 & 1/2, sugar and vanilla, and bring back up to a boil. Slowly whisk your hot dairy mixture into the melted chocolate (as if you were making a ganache) until fully incorporated. If you add the dairy to the melted chocolate too fast, it tends to separate when cooled--this isn't much of a problem except that you have to whisk the entire mixture together again before re-heating.

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Nothing specific and helpful to add, but I'll throw my $0.02 in here to say that in my small towns, most of the "hot chocolate" doesn't seem to have actual chocolate, but rather cocoa powder or chocolate-flavored syrup. They all use whatever kind of milk you request, and use the espresso maker's steamer wand to heat it. (I don't think anyone sinks as low as to just open a packet of powdered stuff and add hot water.) The result is nothing special, and usually overly sweet for my taste, to the point where I need to add a splash of coffee to make it tolerable. If your clientele is sophisticated enough to stay and drink a small cup of something really special, you might consider offering a couple of variations: one that's a little sweeter and good for drinking as-is, and another that's designed to have sweetened whipped cream or a homemade marshmallow added.

Rooting for you from upstate NY,

MelissaH

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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thanks marmish :) looking more into those links this afternoon, but when i quickly viewed it i thought it was something that would help out a lot! thanks for the support, hot chocolate and steam wand trials to commence later this week :)

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christinajun, that sounds wonderful, i would love to try your ratios out :) depending of course on your viscosity, what size of cup is it served in? do you offer a few sizes/ounce options? and is it marketed as a dessert or drink?

i hope to try out a few things in the next week or so to figure out best methodology for serving in my type of atmosphere(more dessert/coffee cafe-ish) :0) i'm feeling i may have to give up on a favorite recipe because i'm not sure how it'd work without making the entire batch from scratch everytime, and if someone orders it as a drink, people usually want it a tad speedier (compared to sitting down, and drinking it as a dessert, where you expect to wait for that lovely sweet ending!)

thanks again! (ps: with your dessert station...is that portable? like using an induction burner? or just the area in your kitchen used for prepping and plating desserts?)

have a happy thanksgiving!!!

It's marketed as both, on the dessert menu as well as with a list of our coffees and teas. We serve it in an 8oz cup, but 6oz portions to leave room for creme fraiche whipped cream and chocolate curls.

We used to have it come from the front of the house rather than the dessert station, but we found that our baristas weren't making it as fresh as we prefer (it does keep for a week as long as it's chilled properly). They would just re-heat it at the espresso machine using the milk steamer, which sounds something that would work better for you.

Here's the recipe if you would like to try it:

1qt whole milk

2c water

2c 1/2 & 1/2

1/2c sugar

1/2c cocoa powder

1/2tsp vanilla extract

12oz 65% chocolate, melted

Boil the water and cocoa powder together, whisking constantly. Add the whole milk, 1/2 & 1/2, sugar and vanilla, and bring back up to a boil. Slowly whisk your hot dairy mixture into the melted chocolate (as if you were making a ganache) until fully incorporated. If you add the dairy to the melted chocolate too fast, it tends to separate when cooled--this isn't much of a problem except that you have to whisk the entire mixture together again before re-heating.

wow! can't wait to try this!!!!!! you're the best :wub:

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Nothing specific and helpful to add, but I'll throw my $0.02 in here to say that in my small towns, most of the "hot chocolate" doesn't seem to have actual chocolate, but rather cocoa powder or chocolate-flavored syrup. They all use whatever kind of milk you request, and use the espresso maker's steamer wand to heat it. (I don't think anyone sinks as low as to just open a packet of powdered stuff and add hot water.) The result is nothing special, and usually overly sweet for my taste, to the point where I need to add a splash of coffee to make it tolerable. If your clientele is sophisticated enough to stay and drink a small cup of something really special, you might consider offering a couple of variations: one that's a little sweeter and good for drinking as-is, and another that's designed to have sweetened whipped cream or a homemade marshmallow added.

Rooting for you from upstate NY,

MelissaH

hmmmm....good concept. maybe a double espresso size (3 oz or so) of the super rich stuff...and maybe a larger cup of something like christinajun or even doing a larger cup of "stir yourself" drink (aka: kerry or lior's idea) so someone could take a 12 oz of steamed milk and a big ol' hot chocolate stick to go, or if you had a child come in, and needed something not so chocolatey, that might work for them too?

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  • 2 weeks later...

The cafe at my college uses hot milk and water mixed with chocolate syrup. Personally I think it's ghastly - far too sweet. When I make hot chocolate at home, I just pour hot milk over chocolate pieces. It melts in just a few seconds. If you grated the chocolate it would practically be instant. Keeps the flavours natural and simple too - no messing about preparing syurps and whatnot. Any reason you couldn't stick to that? You could grate chocolate in advance and keep it in a jar, and there's plenty of milk-heating devices around that are used for coffee.

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i really like that idea jenni...simple is best. did some trials, and found that a loose ganache with 2% milk and an espresso steam wands is working pretty well (like 1/3 cup gananche to 1 cup milk) and then i feel that the 8 oz cup (6 oz choc drink, 1-2 oz w. cream and shavings like previously suggested) would be good, as it was def. a drink and not dessert. but i still love the idea of a demitasse, so possible 75% shavings and 25% milk and steam would be perfect for more of a "dessert drink" in a super small cup....

thanks for the suggestions!

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