Friday, January 16, 2009
The Best Hot Cocoa...
It is really cold here today, in fact it is zero degrees outside and 53 degrees in our bedroom! We keep the vent closed and use a nice fluffy down comforter. Great for sleeping, but hard to get up.
Cold days scream for cups full of hot cocoa, so today I thought I would post my two favorite recipes. The one I make most is an old fashioned cocoa type:
[Scotty sledding age 3]
OLD FASHION COCOA
For one quart of cocoa:
1/3 Cup of baking cocoa, I like the Hershey's Special Dark
1/3 Cup of white sugar [May use 1/2 to 2/3 C sugar if you like it sweeter?
1/4 Cup of water
Blend together in a sauce pan, bring to a boil over medium heat and boil for about a 45 seconds, then whisk in:
1 quart of milk
Heat, but do not boil. If you have a thermometer, 180 degrees is a good temperature for cocoa.
1 tsp vanilla
1T butter [optional, but it does make it more creamy, this is real butter not whipped margarine]
Serve hot, may top with whipped cream and a bit of dry cocoa or cinnamon sugar or marshmallows.
The second recipe is an "Adults only" type cocoa. Not because of adult ingredients, but because it is more chocolaty and not as sweet.
RICH HOT BITTERSWEET COCOA- Serves about 4
This is the most chocolatey, richest chocolate I have ever had. If you want more of a creamy taste, add a dollop of whipped cream, but for showing off the complexities of the rich chocolate taste, this can’t be beat. This is a grown up hot cocoa—just give the kids some Swiss Miss!
6 ounces of bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate (not unsweetened), cut up
1 ½ C boiling water
1 ½ C milk
Place the chocolate in a small saucepan. Pour about ½ of the boiling water over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Stir in the rest of the boiling water and the milk. Heat over medium heat, whisking continuously, until hot, but not boiling. 180° is the optimal temperature for cocoa. Serve immediately. (Use chocolate with 60%-70% chocolate).
Recipe comes from the amazing book, Bittersweet by Alice Medrich and Deborah Jones
I don't want this to become a recipe blog, so I feel I owe you all something beyond two recipes. I love chocolate, and after careful research, I have discovered that it actually has only a small amount of caffeine when compared to coffee or cola drinks. I thought chocolate lovers everywhere would love to have this information.
The chart shows the beverage or food and the average mg. caffeine
[Cris, about 14]
COFFEE, 5 oz cup
Brewed, drip method 115
Brewed, perc. method 80
TEA, 5oz cup
Brewed, major US brands 40
Iced (12oz glass) 70
Decaff. brewed 3
SOFT DRINKS, 12oz 30-60
Cocoa, 5oz cup 4
Chocolate milk, 8 oz 5
Chocolate flavored syrup, 1 oz 4
Milk chocolate, 1 oz 6
Dark and semi sweet, 1 oz 20
You will notice I didn't publish a calorie chart!