This is the drink that got bumped from last week. A little “controversial” to some, but I can assure you that, if you like tea, you will love this recipe. I have tried it and it’s really good as long as the tea is made on the strong side. It’s very simple to make and yummy any day of the week.
Today happens to be a damp, miserable day and I will surely treat myself after the little one goes down for his nap. Right now, he is throwing his toys into my bedroom as I have “gated” him out so I can write.
So, if you’re the adventurous type, this is a great way to feed that spirit on a day where you just want to snuggle up with a warm blanket.
Darjeeling Tea Hot Chocolate
4 oz. milk chocolate, chopped
1 black tea bag, such as Darjeeling
1 cup boiling water
Cream to taste
Sugar to taste
- Place the chocolate in a small bowl and heat in a microwave until melted, being careful not to burn it.
- In a large mug, steep the tea bag in the hot water for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the melted chocolate. Add cream and sugar to taste and serve immediately.
In celebration of the warmer weather we’ve been having, I’ve decided to bump the recipe originally planned and post the one below. Apparently, this is a very popular drink at New York City’s Serendipity 3. It’s noted as being a celebrity hang out place on East 60th Street; so if you’re in the area, you might like to try it out… OR you can try the more economical version at home! Fred Thompson says that if you were to follow the original recipe, you’d have to go shopping in Europe. His version makes the shopping a lot easier. I really recommend this book if you love chocolate there are SO MANY creative ideas packed in this compact little book.
Of course, this is the no-holes-barred version, with all the extra fat and calories. I post it, as is, to keep the integrity of the recipe; but as always, you can modify it to fit your dietary needs and tastes.
Summer’s Frozen Hot Chocolate
1 1/2 tsp. sweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 oz. milk chocolate, chopped
4 cups crushed ice
Sweetened whipped cream for garnish
Grated chocolate of your choice for garnish
- Place a double boiler over medium heat. Add both cocoa powders, the sugar, and the butter. Whisk until the cocoas and sugar have melted and creamed together with the butter.
- Add a little of the milk. Add the chocolates, whisking as they melt. Slowly pour in additional milk, reserving 1 cup milk for step 3. Whisk until the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
- In a blender, make 3 servings at a time. Add 1/2 cup of the chocolate base, 1/2 cup milk, and about 2 cups crushed ice. Blend until smooth, adding more ice or liquid as needed to reach a perfect texture. (Repeat with remaining ingredients or store any unused chocolate base in the refrigerator, covered.) Pour frozen hot chocolate into large goblets and top with whipped cream and grated chocolate. Serve immediately with a straw and a long spoon.
Good Day, all! Welcome to Hot Chocolate Wednesday. Today I thought I would bring you a recipe for a “mix”. A mix is a premixed preparation of hot chocolate, like Swiss Miss and other commercial ones. Now you can take your HC with you. Isn’t that great? The BIG difference here is that YOU are in control of the ingredients that go into it. From a very young age, I dismissed those instant mixes because they were of a too thin consistency, definitely NOT chocolaty enough for me and I would use 2-3 envelopes for one cup!
If you have been following along and trying out these recipes, you will have accumulated enough experience to do some tweaking on your own. I would LOVE to hear about any variations that you come up with. Don’t be shy!
Please keep in mind that I relate the recipe, as is, from the book “Hot Chocolate~50 Heavenly Cups of Comfort”, written by Fred Thompson. These recipes are easily open to modifications needed for diet and nutritional needs. This one refers to “cinnamon chips”. I am assuming he means melting chips, like for chocolate making; but still, I have never seen that flavor. You could possibly find them in a candy making store or a craft store that sells candy making supplies. Here is this week’s recipe. It’s called:
Cinnamon Chip Hot Chocolate Mix
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup natural cocoa powder
1 cup nonfat dry powdered milk
1/2 cup cinnamon-flavored chips
2 tsp. kosher salt ~ for full flavor advantage GET kosher salt, or don’t use salt at all.
Confectioner’s sugar for serving
- Combine the granulated sugar, cocoa powder, powdered milk, cinnamon-flavored chips, and salt in a large bowl. Pour into a 1-quart airtight container.
- For a single serving, scoop 1/3 cup of the mix into a mug and pour 1 cup boiling water over it. Stir until the cinnamon chips have melted and the mixture is smooth. Dust each serving with confectioner’s sugar and serve immediately.
Now, you may have been wondering why you must serve the hot chocolate immediately, and you have every right to ask. The reason is that once the hot chocolate starts cooling off, the actual chocolate, or melted chips will start to solidify again and will no longer be fully integrated into the drink.
It’s Recipe Day! Today, I just flipped open to this one called “Nun’s Revenge”. It just wants to be posted because I pasted this one up last week. One of the most heavenly flavor combinations is dark chocolate and orange and though I’ve not made this recipe yet, looks pretty good. My only change would be to add a drop of orange extract into the mix and, of course, omit the sugar and put something else in there. I know that some people hate to “zest” citrus rind, so again, just add a bit of orange extract!
Again, this recipe is from the book, “Hot Chocolate~50 Heavenly Cups of Comfort”, written by: Fred Thompson.
Without further ado, here it is:
Fabulous Italian Hot Chocolate
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. half-and-half
1 tsp. Arrowroot
1 tbsp. Sugar
2 oz. Bittersweet Chocolate (at least 70% cacao), chopped
2 to 4 strips Orange Zest for garnish
In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the half-and-half with the arrowroot, whisking until smooth.
Place the remaining 1/2 cup of half-and-half in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer.
When the half-and-half begins to bubble around the edges, whisk in the sugar. Whisk in the arrowroot mixture until the half-and-half thickens slightly, usually less than a minute.
Remove from the heat and quickly whisk in the chocolate until smooth. Pour into cups, top each with a piece of orange zest, and serve immediately.
Serves 2 in cappuccino cups OR 4 in espresso cups.
Tonight I received a question about the last posted recipe. It was submitted by Chicks Love Chocolate and I want to thank her for asking… so if anyone else needs clarification, I have reposted her question here for everyone:
“Please let me know how to make this sugarfree! I am confused as to whether you added coffeemate instead of the half and half. What was the water about?
Chicks Love Chocolate”
Hi Chicks Love Chocolate! Thanks for stopping by and I’ll see if I can clarify what I did so that you can make this sugarfree.
The recipe called for half-and-half, so I wrote that down for people who want the full works. For myself, I use the powdered, flavored, sugarfree coffeemate to sweeten the Hot chocolate; and today, it was the Vanilla Caramel… YUM. Since discovering that people outside the United States do not use milk, but use water, I have started doing that in order to make my drink with less fat and carbs. I use 1/4 tsp. of arrowroot, per cup, to thicken it up and make it creamy… just as if I used regular heavy cream, without the calories. Oh, if you want more caffeine, you can use fresh brewed coffee instead of just plain water…. OR you can use at least a tsp. of instant coffee with the water.
As a diabetic, I need to avoid sugar; and as you may guess, these chocolate recipes have sugar in them… OR need to be modified in some way as it avoid the bitterness that is unsweetened chocolate. As someone who has been on diets, on and off my whole life, I have learned a few tricks of the trade. Well, maybe not a whole lot of tricks, but enough to satisfy MY cravings for chocolate.
Through the years, I’ve used a variety of sources to add sweetness to things from the obvious artificial sweeteners to the not so obvious sources like fruit, and most recently, sugarfree coffeemate. The key thing here is to remember to be creative. Just try your idea out and see if it works. If it does, great; but if it doesn’t, no big deal. I just bought the sugarfree coffeemate, flavored vanilla caramel which really fits into today’s recipe. This morning, I used 100% cacao unsweetened chocolate and the new flavored coffeemate. It turned out great, I got the flavor for this weeks recipe, WITHOUT the sugar and extra fat, as I used water instead of half-and-half.
I am always on the look out that the supermarket for other ways of sweetening my HC and one thing I intend on getting, but have not seen it, looked in the right place, or asked someone for sugarfree syrups. I know they are there, just never used them before. I am guessing that there is a whole new world of flavor out there for me to experience.
~A piece of chocolate a day keeps the doldrums away!
Thanks for coming back for the next recipe. I would like to invite anyone to comment on any of these recipes and their yummy chocolate experience after making one of them…. or any chocolate (or near chocolate) experiences you might have.
This weeks recipe is called “Ghirardelli ‘Square’ Caramel Hot Chocolate”, excerpted from the book “Hot Chocolate~50 Heavenly Cups of Comfort” by Fred Thompson. I highly recommend this book for anyone who really digs HC and is worth it just for the pictures included of all these decadent treasures. I’d just like to say that the caramel content really makes this recipe stand out and a “must try it”… and it’s really easy to make. Okay, nuff said… let’s get down to the good stuff:
Ghirardelli “Square” Caramel Hot Chocolate
2 cups half-and-half
One 6.9 oz. bag ghirardelli milk chocolate squares with caramel filling
(or you can try Hershey’s Kisses with caramel)
Whipped Cream for garnish
Store-bought caramel sauce for garnish
- Pour the half-and-half into a medium-size saucepan and warm over medium heat.
Meanwhile, unwrap all of the chocolate squares and cut them into quarters.
- When the half-and-half is just below a boil, with bubbles around the sides, whisk in the candy, and continue whisking until all the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
- Serve immediately in cups with a dollop of whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce.
Serves 4 to 6
As promised, this is the first hot chocolate, henceforth will be known as HC. Oh, keep in mind that there is no need to give up HC in the summer months. If you don’t want it hot, just have it COLD. Yeah, am I the problem solver or what! Just so you know, I am sipping on some HC right now and it reached almost 80 degrees today. I wanted to try it without the milk and just got some arrowroot to try. It really IS creamy, using only water… PRESTO, a NO-fat drink.
I am going to start this off with a recipe the ancients used. Originally, I wanted to start with a more mellow, traditional recipe; but then I got the idea to go all the way and show you what HC is capable of! It might not be good for the faint of heart as it’s HOT, I mean spicy hot. This is not your grandmother’s hot chocolate. Here goes:
Ancient Aztec Cacahuatl
- 5 cups Half-and-Half
- 1 Vanilla bean, cut in half lengthwise
- 8 oz. Mexican chocolate, such as Abuelita, chopped
- 1/4 cup Natural cocoa powder (you can use unsweetened baking chocolate powder)
- 1 to 2 tsp. Ancho chile powder, to your taste
- 3 tbsp. Honey
- Whipped cream for garnish
- 1 to 2 tbsp. Slivered unsalted roasted almonds for garnish
- In a medium sized saucepan over medium heat, combine the half-and-half and vanilla bean. Heat until the mixture comes to a simmer.
- Reduce the heat to low and add the chocolate and cocoa powder. Whisk to combine. Simmer for 5 to 10 minute, or until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Watch it closely so that it does not boil over.
- Add the chile powder, a little at a time, to taste. Stir in the honey and blend. Discard the vanilla bean.
- Pour the hot chocolate into 8 small cups and top with the whipped cream and slivered almonds.
Chocolate Tidbit~In 1764, in Dorchester, MA, USA, the first American chocolate manufacturer was founded; and Baker’s Chocolate is still in business today.
Hot Chocolate is one of my indulgences. THIS is what I do for myself that lifts me out of my every day existence, and into the clouds. I do not need to retire to a private space, I do not need a lengthy period of time; only the time it takes to make and drink a quick visit to heaven. My quasi normal attraction to chocolate became manifest at a young age when I found myself using two envelopes of Swiss Miss in one cup, still not satisfied. Then I added some instant coffee, something still missing. C~H~O~C~O~L~A~T~E hmmmmmmm just rolls through your mouth and off your tongue, doesn’t it?Currently, I use chocolate bars, various spices, non-dairy creamers, extracts, whipping cream, brewed coffee. Well, you get the picture. Anything that would not make the brew curdle or turn my stomach, whichever came first. I got turned on to putting actual chocolate bars into it by my friend, Cindi. That night she became my very best friend! I was so grateful to find someone to share my chocolate fetish! For my son’s birthday party, I put together a weird hot chocolate “mix”. I say “weird” only because I was throwing stuff together the night before the party in a frenzies with cocoa powder flying all around. Though I did not know it at the time, what I did was not exactly original… or crazy.
Just this week my ego bubble was broken when I found the above book entitled, “Hot Chocolate~50 Heavenly Cups of Comfort”, by Fred Thompson. I found it while shopping at the A&P on sale for $3.99! So, I just had to scoop one up; such fun finding a book at the A&P. Mr. Thompson uses a lot of the things that I do in search for the Ultimate cup of hot chocolate, including creating dry mixes. What a shot in the arm of validation! I’d often tell people of the stuff that I mix with coffee or hot chocolate and always got a strange look, or a little comment of dismissal which ended the conversation, cutting off my zen for chocolate. I am always perplexed at the popularity commercial mixes enjoy. The actual chocolate content is almost non-existent.
I am so much of a chocolate freak that I used it as a topic for a speech given as a class project for a public speaking course I took years ago to help myself become comfortable in front of people…. HEY, btw JUSTIN… it worked! I chose to give a demonstrative speech, or maybe they called it an “instructional” speech. So, I took my favorite subject and spoke about making a fast, but utterly delicious and authentic cup of hot chocolate in the microwave. I’ll post the recipe at the end of this article if any of you are interested. I did my homework and even spoke about the history of the cacao bean and the drink that was made by the ancient Mayans. Did you know that their women were forbidden to drink chocolate? Hmph!
I have a mission! Because of my new life style, I need to convert my hot chocolate favorites into decadent sugar free must-have recipes. I have a couple of things going for me here. I already love the dark chocolate which is chock full of antioxidants. I learned in this book that the most popular way in the world to have this drink is to make it with water and not milk, and that will be a big plus. I think what I am going to do is publish a recipe a week for those of you who would be interested to insert a little heaven into your everyday life.
Okay, so here is my quickie, microwavable recipe for Authentic Hot Chocolate. I have no idea what to call it, so maybe you guys can post some suggestions. How about this. The one that I pick will get a special mix. Are ya game? Don’t worry, post office people, no liquids needed.
No need to be exact in the measurements. As a matter of fact, be generous with heaping spoonfuls! Everything to YOUR taste.
(SO FAR, UN-NAMED HOT CHOCOLATE)~
1 tbsp. Dutch processed hot cocoa powder
1 tsp… Instant coffee (optional for you caffeine lovers)
1-2 tbsp. Non-Dairy creamer, Plain *(or try 1/2 tsp. Arrowroot)
A pinch/dash of salt (optional, but it really does enhance the flavor)
Sugar (I give no measurements because it should go according to your taste, if you like sweet or not so sweet. Be creative with your sugar. You can use any sweetener from refined white (eww!), brown sugar, molasses, honey, sugar free syrup, or whatever)
Put all ingredients in to a microwavable mug, preferably a large one. Boil up some water and pour a little into the mug and stir until ingredients mix well and dry ingredients emulsify.
Okay, here is the part where you get to choose. You can either use all water like when making instant coffee, or you can fill up the rest of the mug with milk or cream or a combination of both.
Microwave initially for 1 minute on 50% power, and in 30 second increments after that to get desired hotness. If your chocolate is not creamy enough, add more non-dairy creamer, arrowroot, or cream. Grate some fresh nutmeg into your cup for garnish. If you use the dried spice kind, remember that fresh is more intense in flavor, so you might need more of the dried stuff.
I am sorry if this is confusing, but I wanted to make it appealing to a wide range of people with varying dietary needs.