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JohnL

Hot chocolate--hot cocoa what's the best?

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"Just the thing to go with the four dozen or so cookies I ate tonight " :shock:

how did you have room for hot chocolate? :laugh:

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Don't bother with cocoa powder.

Melt an ounce of good quality chocolate into your mug's worth of milk

Whisk, sweeten to taste; add rum or other hooch to taste.

Drink and feel that the world is a better place...

This is eGullet. You can't post that without providing your favorite recipe for hooch.

Sarcasm aside,

Hot beverage made with only cocoa must = "hot cocoa"

Hot beverage made with chocolate must = "hot chocolate"

...the obvious difference being the inclusion of silky cocoa butter in the latter. A little cornstarch to thicken it is something I discovered in Italy.

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Does anyone else snack on Abuelita straight from the box? I love how gritty, sweet, and spicy it is.

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I may be coming in on this thread a little late, but Mexican chocolate really does make pretty good hot chocolate. It's just that Abuelita and Ibarra (which I think is the better of the two) aren't the best choices, just the most readily available here in the U.S. You can get MayorDomo Chocolate from Oaxaca on-line from Chocosphere. The directions for making hot chocolate are printed on the box in Spanish - AND - in English. MayorDomo is not as sweet (you can get classic and semi-sweet) or as gritty and the nuts/spices are better balanced for a softer overall flavor.

Here's a variation I make using Mexican chocolate - To a quart of milk add 5 or 6 whole cloves, chile flakes to taste, orange zest or about 1/4 tsp. Boyajian orange oil. Slowly heat until milk is very hot. Remove from the heat and drop in 2 tablets of MayorDomo chocolate (8.8 oz.) and stir until chocolate has dissolved. Pour into a blender and with the lid slightly ajar, turn the blender on low and then increase the speed; blend until thick and foamy. Pour through a mesh strainer into mugs.

You don't need a lot of chile and you don't need a lot of orange, they both marry beautifully with Mexican chocolate. You don't want any of the flavors to overpower another. I've also made this using Popular brand chocolate from northern Mexico. And, BTW, Zingermann's carries Susana Trilling's Chocolate de Metate (handmade chocolate) at about $15/lb. Suitable for snacking but a little spendy for hot chocolate :wink:

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I was just going to add Ibarra. Wonderful hot chocolate, especially when frothy and warm.

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On 12/2/2005 at 12:36 PM, Jenikaye said:

Okay, I ran a search for (hot) chocolate and got 42 pages...after browsing through the entire list, I still haven't found what I'm looking for.

I want to make a hot chocolate mix to send as gifts to friends/family.

I can do a basic one with cocoa, sugar, etc. But I want to make something that will knock their socks off.

And, of course, it has to be shippable and easy for them to prepare.

Homemade marshmallows will go along with it.

Any suggestions?

Years later... but a small part King Arthur Flour's black cocoa mixed in with cocoa and sugar and pinches of chilli, cinammon, and cardamom are my go-to. A lot of sediment though - looking to resolve that brought me here.

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1 hour ago, MellaMella said:

Years later... but a small part King Arthur Flour's black cocoa mixed in with cocoa and sugar and pinches of chilli, cinammon, and cardamom are my go-to. A lot of sediment though - looking to resolve that brought me here.

 

I make hot chocolate by making a ganache that I keep in the fridge in pre-portioned cubes and then add hot water. I developed the concept years ago when I worked at a high end cafe and saw some ideas here on eG. I use good couverture, the reason is that it's smoother and the cocoa particles tend to be smaller due to longer conching. I find that this improves the sediment and mouth-feel issues immensely. I also add a small amount of my house-made chocolate extract to boost flavor a little, cream inhibits flavor a little bit.

 

Good additions to the drink once it's made include:

a twist of orange peel

a sprinkling of cinnamon

a small dab of toast dope

a teaspoon of liqueur or non-alcoholic Italian syrup: nut flavor, cherry flavor, orange flavor, strawberry flavor, coffee flavor, etc.

a little coffee

a tiny pinch of red chile powder

a sprig of fresh mint

 

The ganache needs to be refrigerated, so, shipping could be a dicey situation -especially if there's a warm spell. I'd ship in an insulated package with frozen cold packs in it. And, I would give stern instructions that it should be refrigerated immediately upon arrival. In most instances, I would prefer to hand-deliver the finished product as a gift, or just ship some of the chocolate and the recipe.

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I love hot chocolate specially in winter season. Hot chocolate with Tosti spicy cheese. I loved it.

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Also : “not as sweet” = not as good. 

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209

3 minutes ago, weedy said:

Also : “not as sweet” = not as good. 

I personally think that it can get to sleep in a big hurry. If it's too sweet you don't taste chocolate, all you taste is the sweet. I would much rather have it under sweetened than over sweetened.

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I've experimented a bunch with hot chocolate over the years. There's a spectrum from intense chocolate flavor to high richness, and you need to find the sweet spot. So to speak. Tastes will vary.

 

The most intense hot chocolates I've had are dairy-free, and are closer to the way cocoa was originally drunk. It sounds like a ripoff ... just chocolate and water. But the chocolate intensity is bonkers. I find it a bit too much, for anything more than a demitasse-sized chocolate dessert. But it's worth trying. I use it as a starting point, and add a bit of whole milk to mellow it out. But I generally like the water / milk blend more than pure milk. 

 

If you prefer richness to chocolate intensity, you can go all the way in the other direction and use ganache. This is a handy formula for restaurants, because the ganache is basically an instant hot cocoa mix. Just stir it into hot milk or hot water. 

 

Overall I prefer bittersweet chocolate to cocoa powder. Not because it's inherently better, but because in practice it's better. Very few companies make cocoa powder that's as good or as interesting as their chocolates. With a handful of exceptions, it's a byproduct. There are some signs that this is changing. For the time being I use a blend of both. Chocolate for the interesting flavors, cocoa for added intensity with less added fat. 

 

Here's a version I've enjoyed:

 

360g / 1-1/2 cups water

60g / 1/3 cup sugar

120g / 4-1/4 oz Bittersweet chocolate

24g /1/4 cup dutch cocoa

1g / 1/8 tsp salt

240g / 1 cup whole milk

 

-Heat sugar in a heavy saucepan.

-boil the water separately

-when sugar starts to caramelize, stir vigorously until amber

-pour water on sugar, and keep stirring and heating until clumps liquefy

-whisk in cocoa

-stir in chocolate, continuing to stir until melted

-stir in milk

-keep on heat until the first bubble pops on the surface

-remove from heat and whip (with a whisk or a stick blender) until slightly frothy

 

notes:

 

-you can make it with all milk, if you want less chocolate intensity.

 

-you can make it without the cocoa, if you want to mellow the chocolate flavor. if so, reduce sugar to 1/4 cup.

 

-you can dispense with the caramelization (if you don't caramelize, it will be a bit sweeter).

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