Chocolate originated in Central and South America and was introduced to the western world in the 16th century by the Spanish explorers. It comes from the seeds of a cocoa plant called the Theobroma cacao tree, which means ‘food for the gods.’ The beans of the tree are fermented, dried, roasted, and processed into a paste called chocolate liquor, which has a rich color but bitter in taste. Combined with sugar, however, it yields a rich distinctive flavor that appeals to the sweet tooth, thereby making it one of life’s indulgent pleasures.
It is energy-giving since it is full of carbohydrates and likewise stimulating since it also contains caffeine and theobromine. Introduced in the market as a chocolate bar only in the 19th century, chocolate has always been used as a drink even during its earliest history. Even today when there are lots of varieties to choose from, the chocolate drink continues to hold its own.
First, there’s the ever-popular chocolate milk drink. Whether pre-mixed or home-made, it remains a big hit especially among schoolchildren. This sweetened, cocoa-flavored milk drink actually needs to be kept cool and refrigerated, which makes it all the more appealing to young kids and choco drinkers alike.
Most adults, however, prefer their chocolate drink to be hot. There’s a very nice warm feeling in the stomach when drinking no less than hot chocolate early in the morning, especially if it’s cold outside. Now coming in a variety of flavors, hot chocolate drinks are very popular all over the world. Some serve it frothy while some garnish it with whipped cream and candy canes. Some serve it with eggnog, chocolate chunks, toffee chunks, and marshmallows.
Some combine coffee and chocolate while some put in some spices with vanilla. Some are trying on new combinations that include chocolate and ginger or chocolate and tea. Some put in cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg as ingredients while some experiment with chili. Some have cardamom spice and orange peel while some have tried coffee liquor and rum. And have you ever heard of ‘hot chocolate shot,’ ‘hot chocolate latte,’ and ‘hot chocolate martini’? In whatever way you mix and fix it, hot chocolate still is the perfect drink on a cold day.
Here’s how to make the most of chocolate for your chocolate drink, whether you take it hot or cold. For chocolate-flavored liquids, take the ratio of 1 to 1, that is, 4 ounces of chocolate for every 4 cups of liquid. Chop the chocolate into small cubes and allow it to melt slowly over low heat. To melt chocolate, heat it in a bowl suspended over but not in a pan of hot but not boiling water. Melt it slowly without stirring and it should just be lukewarm.
Chocolate will lose its glossy shine and delicious aroma if it is overheated. When done properly, the result will be a rich velvety smooth indulgence every chocolate lover will enjoy. Nonetheless if you prefer it, this mixture may be substituted with ¾ cup cocoa powder and ¼ cup sugar for every 4 ounces of chocolate. For cold chocolate mixtures, always remember that the mixture will thicken quite considerably as it cools.
Hot chocolate is a welcome treat on a cold fall or winter day. It’s a classic delicacy loved by adults and children alike. There are many unique flavors and varieties of instant hot chocolate available in stores, but they can be quite expensive. You can make your own delicious hot cocoa for a fraction of what stores charge. Besides being less expensive, homemade hot cocoa is often richer and tastier than hot cocoa available in stores.
White chocolate has a rich, creamy flavor that is quite different from regular brown chocolate. The following recipe makes six delicious cups of creamy white hot chocolate. This unique drink will surprise and impress chocolate connoisseurs as well as those who prefer white chocolate to brown chocolate.
Making a Cup of Hot Chocolate
Most people don’t know how to make hot chocolate from cocoa properly. While if you are making hot chocolate from hot chocolate powder, you can just slop it into a mug with some milk and microwave it, this approach will not work for cocoa, or for cold chocolate.
Those of us accustomed to eating chocolate may be surprised to learn that chocolate was originally enjoyed as a drink. Although most of us today make our chocolate from a powdered mix, making the real thing is as simple as melting some chocolate and mixing it with hot milk. And does it taste good! This recipe makes about 10 servings.
Steps of Homemade Hot Chocolate Preparation
Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place in a mixing bowl.
Heat the milk over medium-low heat until it steams and is very hot to the touch.
Add the sugar and vanilla and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Shut off the heat.
Ladle out about 1 c. of the milk and pour it over the chocolate.
Let the chocolate melt slowly. Stir it with a whisk to get all the chocolate in contact with the milk.
Continue adding milk and stirring until all the milk has been incorporated.
Stir together, then ladle into serving cups.
Angelina’s Hot Chocolate
The Angelina Cafe in Paris, open since 1903, serves a thick hot chocolate version in demitasse cups with a tiny dollop of mascarpone and whipped cream. They are famous for making hot chocolate from melted chocolate bars. It is incredibly easy to prepare by mixing chocolate shavings with hot water. You can serve it in small cups or in 17th-century style chocolate pots and demitasse cups such as those sold in gourmet shops.
6 ounces fine-quality semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup water, room temperature
3 tablespoons hot water
3 cups hot milk, divided
Sugar to taste
Whipped cream, if desired
In a double boiler over low heat, combine chocolate and 1/4 cup water until melted, stirring occasionally; stir until smooth.
Remove top of double boiler pan from. Whisk in 3 tablespoons hot water. Pour into pitcher or divide among individual 4 mugs. Either stir 3/4 cup hot milk into each mug or serve milk in a separate pitcher. Pass sugar and whipped cream in separate bowls; add to taste.
Makes 4 servings… and eat all Hot Chocolate… because it’s so tasty
Hot Chocolate for Adults
Don’t bother chopping up chocolate, this recipe calls for easy-to-use chocolate chips. This is a pretty strong but mellow hot chocolate cocktail.
3 cups milk
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 cup half-n-half
1/2 cup rum
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup hazelnut liqueur (Frangelico)
You don’t really need to chop the chocolate chips, but you can if you want the chocolate to melt really quickly. Melt chocolate in a double boiler, or whatever method you prefer.
In another saucepan heat milk, half-n-half cream and sugar to almost boiling.
Stir until sugar is dissolved. Add 1 cup of the hot milk mixture to the chocolate and mix well. Pour into the rest of the milk and stir until smooth. Pour in rum and liqueur. Heat the finished hot chocolate through, and serve.
Mayan Hot Chocolate
2 cups boiling water
1 chile pepper, cut in half, seeds removed (with gloves)
5 cups light cream or whole or nonfat milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 to 2 cinnamon sticks
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate or
3 tablets Mexican chocolate, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
2 tablespoons sugar or honey, or to taste
l tablespoon almonds or hazelnuts, ground extra fine
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add chile pepper to boiling water. Cook hot chocolate until liquid is reduced to 1 cup. Remove chile pepper; strain water and set aside.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine cream or milk, vanilla bean and cinnamon stick until bubbles appear around the edge. Reduce heat to low; add chocolate and sugar or honey; whisk occasionally until chocolate is melted and sugar dissolves. Turn off heat; remove vanilla bean and cinnamon stick. Add chile-infused water, a little at a time, tasting to make sure the flavor isn’t too strong. If chocolate is too thick, thin with a little more milk.
Serve in small cups and offer ground almonds or hazelnuts and whipped cream.
Migraines affect more than 36 million Americans – that’s nearly one out of every ten people! It’s also in the top twenty disabilities that cause people to miss work. The thing is, if they all knew this secret to curing and preventing these chronically severe headaches, that number would see a drastic reduction.
Fruit tea - one word describes it - DELICIOUS and HEALTHY.
Fruit tea comprised of browned shredded quince which has been oven-dried, dry-grilled until brown, and stored ready to steep in boiling water.