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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:


"i saw a wino eating grapes and i was like, dude, you have to wait"- mitch hedburg

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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.


Kathy

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. - Harriet Van Horne

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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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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 learned that artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

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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 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).


Edited by paulraphael (log)
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Notes from the underbelly

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How about grating your favourite couverture chocolate, and mix this with some milk powder? With milk powder added (or maybe not if you use milk chocolate couverture), your friends can then just spoon a certain amount of your mixture in their cup and add hot water from the kettle. 

 

I’ve tried using varieties of Callebaut and Valrhona mixed with hot milk. And I’m definitely continuing with Valrhona, not Callebaut. The Valrhona dissolves better in hot liquid is my experience. 

 

I’m working towards the goal of making a mix that gives a nice and convenient hot chocolate “powder” that can be stored for some time, and given away/sold in bags. Due to the fact that everybody in Norway have a kettle, but not everybody have a milk frother (or can be bothered warming up milk in the pan), I want to make a mixture that can be dissolved in hot water. That’s why I’m thinking of using milk powder (dried milk). Main problem here is to get a good quality milk powder without all sorts of additives. 

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I don't know if this is exactly "hot chocolate" but it has all the components with the addition of coffee

 

I just throw in 60% dark chocolate (I use El Rey) chips in coffee and add cream with no sugar (bc the sweetness comes from the chocolate is enough) 

 

I tried using soy substitute for cream but there is a super big difference. The cream goes really, really well with the drink and gives it more body in addition to incredibly pairing of flavor (milk + chocolate) 

 

 

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2 hours ago, eugenep said:

I don't know if this is exactly "hot chocolate" but it has all the components with the addition of coffee

 

I just throw in 60% dark chocolate (I use El Rey) chips in coffee and add cream with no sugar (bc the sweetness comes from the chocolate is enough) 

 

I tried using soy substitute for cream but there is a super big difference. The cream goes really, really well with the drink and gives it more body in addition to incredibly pairing of flavor (milk + chocolate) 

 

 

Please let us know when/if you find a satisfactory milk powder.    I usually keep some kind on hand for emergencies but have almost never needed it.   Once in the country, a milk-loving feral cat who adopted us was visiting.    Out of fresh milk, I mixed up a bowl of warm milk, using powder.    She was ecstatic, took a lap, looked up at me and walked off the deck.   


Edited by Margaret Pilgrim (log)
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eGullet member #80.

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15 minutes ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

Please let us know when/if you find a satisfactory milk powder.    I usually keep some kind on hand for emergencies but have almost never needed it.   Once in the country, a milk-loving feral cat who adopted us was visiting.    Out of fresh milk, I mixed up a bowl of warm milk, using powder.    She was ecstatic, took a lap, looked up at me and walked off the deck.   

 

okay Marge. I'll let you know. But I think your question was intended for user @Corny

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On 6/12/2019 at 3:48 AM, Corny said:

How about grating your favourite couverture chocolate, and mix this with some milk powder? With milk powder added (or maybe not if you use milk chocolate couverture), your friends can then just spoon a certain amount of your mixture in their cup and add hot water from the kettle. 

 

I’ve tried using varieties of Callebaut and Valrhona mixed with hot milk. And I’m definitely continuing with Valrhona, not Callebaut. The Valrhona dissolves better in hot liquid is my experience. 

 

I’m working towards the goal of making a mix that gives a nice and convenient hot chocolate “powder” that can be stored for some time, and given away/sold in bags. Due to the fact that everybody in Norway have a kettle, but not everybody have a milk frother (or can be bothered warming up milk in the pan), I want to make a mixture that can be dissolved in hot water. That’s why I’m thinking of using milk powder (dried milk). Main problem here is to get a good quality milk powder without all sorts of additives. 

 

The only question I have is how to guarantee the cocoa butter goes into an emulsion with the water. The proportions are way off from a ganache, and even with a ganache it takes some care to guarantee it won't separate. I'd be surprised if the emulsifying power of the milk proteins would be enough. Maybe a small amount of lecithin would help.

 

There's plenty of good quality milk powder available, at least in the US. Organic Valley is decent; Now brand is excellent. You have to keep it fresh, because it takes on stale flavors. I keep mine sealed up in the freezer. Just make sure it's 100% skim milk. I doubt any subtle differences (like between low temperature and high temperature spray drying) would be detectable through the chocolate. 


Notes from the underbelly

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Penzeys has a great hit cocoa mix


Stop Family Violence

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6 hours ago, paulraphael said:

 

The only question I have is how to guarantee the cocoa butter goes into an emulsion with the water. The proportions are way off from a ganache, and even with a ganache it takes some care to guarantee it won't separate. I'd be surprised if the emulsifying power of the milk proteins would be enough. Maybe a small amount of lecithin would help.

 

There's plenty of good quality milk powder available, at least in the US. Organic Valley is decent; Now brand is excellent. You have to keep it fresh, because it takes on stale flavors. I keep mine sealed up in the freezer. Just make sure it's 100% skim milk. I doubt any subtle differences (like between low temperature and high temperature spray drying) would be detectable through the chocolate. 

 

You still don't have an homogenizer?

 

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