Hot Chocolate & Drinking Chocolate, a Seasonal Favorite

Hot Chocolate & Drinking Chocolate, a Seasonal Favorite

We’ve been drinking a lot of chocolate lately. When I mean a lot I mean pounds.

Not only is it a favorite creation in the house, we’ve been trying to figure out a blend of chocolate and spices that would be a fantastic Winter time delight.

What makes a good drinking chocolate? Why not use just cocoa? How hard can a blend be? Let’s see if we can’t explore this a little and as always we’d love your input into what you find a favorite homemade chocolate concoction.

It begins with chocolate desire…

As the temperatures dip and a fire becomes regular something is missing whether it’s gooey smores or a warm beverage between your hands. We were probably nibbling on some left over truffles when it struck us to use the couverture chocolate we use everyday to make some hot chocolate.

The Chocolate Research Begins

Any quick study of the landscape of hot chocolate beverages will land you in a flurry of camps of thoughts. Use cocoa and reintroduce the fats, a lot of sugar, and some vigorous blending until reintegrated. Sounds fun? The other camp uses a variety of couverture chocolates melted into water or milk and add a bit of sugar.

We tried a few combinations of each, and even a few in the middle, and found our favorites on just the chocolate palatability to be in the solid chocolate camp.  Like our truffles why should we add filler when you don’t need to?  I posted our recipe from last year on 

A few points to think on.

  • Cocoa powder adds richness and intensity but not much flavor.
  • Chocolate adds body, definition, and character–make sure you pick something you like to eat.
    • Bittersweet will be too bitter.
    • 60-70% chocolate is a great place to be.
  • Liquids, the carriers of everything. Your choice here will be instrumental in your final product.
    • Water adds no character and will create a rather thin product. Might also require a corn starch to thicken to your liking.
    • Heavy cream is great in an espresso cup but not for really a long draught.
    • Milk (2% or whole) is a great carrier but if your lactose intolerant..
    • Almond milk, good body and carrier, little nutty taste can balance wonderfully with cacao.
    • Soy, similar consistency to almond milk or 2% but the aftertaste was off-putting.
    • Coconut milk/cream, lush and deep–will almost remind one of heavy cream.  The flavor while nice will override subtle infusions you might try.  Great for an almond joy drinking chocolate.

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