I have never been a fan of cocoa packets added to boiling water. It’s a commercial concoction with so little in common with the original chocolate drink brought over to Europe from South America. While I don’t like spicy at all, so I’ll avoid the original chocolate with ground chili peppers, I think hot chocolate should be an experience that a chocolate lover can truly love.
I was a fan of Starbuck’s signature hot chocolate drink last year, but they discontinued the richer drink In favor of their regular hot chocolate, which is much thinner and less satisfying. In all, it’s hot cocoa and not hot chocolate. Hot Cocoa is cocoa powder with liquid. Cocoa powder is created when cocoa butter is extracted from cocoa beans. Without that wonderful cocoa butter, it’s just not as rich and wonderful. Hot chocolate drink made with real chocolate still containing its cocoa butter is called drinking chocolate. And it’s the best hot chocolate you can have.
I looked on the web and found several recipes for drinking chocolate, and I cobbled together the pieces I thought would create a wonderful rich drink. My first attempt used only dark bittersweet chocolate and used a full can of evaporated milk instead of the half and half and dry milk. While the resulting mixture was thick I thought it could be thicker. It was also too dark and not sweet enough. While my second try has no more sugar than the first, it’s definitely sweeter on the finish. My second try was this recipe, and well worth the effort!
Makes 2 8oz mugs (or divide further for smaller portions!). This is NOT a diet drink, but it sure is a tasty treat once in a while!
- 1oz 70% or higher cacao bittersweet chocolate*
- 1oz quality milk chocolate*
- 1oz white chocolate*
- a tiny tiny pinch of salt
- 2T cocoa powder
- 1T dry milk
- 1/4c sucanat (evaporated cane juice) or brown sugar
- 4oz half and half
- 1t vanilla extract
- 4oz evaporated milk
- 4oz heavy cream
- 2T or so liquor (Kahlua or Baileys or amaretto) [optional]
* I used dark/milk/white Ghirardelli baking bar squares from the grocery store for this, worked great.
- Place chocolate, cocoa, salt, dry milk and sugar into food processor and chop fine (or just chop the chocolate relatively fine).
- Pour half and half, vanilla and evaporated milk into a small pot over low heat and add chocolate mixture.
- Stir occasionally with a whisk until mixture starts to steam and slightly simmer.
- Add heavy cream and heat for a minute or two, slowly stirring until foam from the simmer starts to develop on the top of the mixture.
- Remove from heat.
- Stir in the liquor if you want and give it a good quick whisk to get some air into the mixture.
- Pour into cups and top with whipped cream, serve immediately.
This was amazing! Wonderfully thick, fantastically rich and not too gritty. It was a bit on the sweet side to me, however, I have cut back on most of the sugar in my diet and don’t use artificial sweeteners so it’s probably just me. I’m going to cut out about a quarter of the sugar next time to see. I didn’t use the liquor in my version, and it might require more adjustment of the sugar to not get a too-sweet taste.
Hope you make some and enjoy!