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Thursday, February 26, 2015


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In 2010, I wrote a blog post about a new (to me) discovery-- drinking chocolate.
"Technically speaking, hot cocoa and hot chocolate are two very different beverages. Hot cocoa comes from a powder, while hot chocolate is (once again, technically speaking) what many call "drinking chocolate" or "sipping chocolate" - it's made from chopped bits of chocolate or small chocolate pellets that are melted (slowly and painstakingly) and then blended with milk, cream and/or  water. True hot chocolate tends to be much denser and richer than its powdery relative. 

Interestingly enough, some Americans are repulsed by this more European beverage because it is so rich. However, I think this has more to do with American ideas of beverage sizes. Europeans tend to drink hot chocolate in small mugs or demitasse cups, while Americans are accustomed to over-sized mugs for their hot drinks. I, too, would be disgusted by the idea of drinking a huge mug of (basically) melted chocolate, but I find that drinking chocolate is a wonderfully satisfying winter drink when served in smaller quantities."  From:

There are several delicious brands commercially available, but I have a hard time obtaining them in my area, so I decided to make my own mix, combining cocoa powder and some dark chocolate.  It's easy, absolutely divine, and would make a lovely gift, too.  If you have never tasted "hot chocolate" made this way, you are in for a wonderful surprise.

Printable Recipe

Servings: 16
Drinking chocolate provides a rich, velvety, not-too-sweet chocolate hit-- about 77 calories for an espresso cupful (using 1/4 cup non-dairy milk), which is small, but very satisfying.

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably fair trade, organic, Dutch-processed)
5 tablespoons good-quality semisweet chocolate chips (preferably fair trade, organic)
OR USE 2.3 oz./66g chopped or grated good quality semisweet chocolate (preferably fair trade, organic)
1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons brown sugar, coconut sugar or Sucanat (dehydrated sugar cane juice)
4 teaspoons cornstarch (organic is available)
1 pinch salt
OPTIONAL: (Note: Add flavorings just before serving, for better flavor.)
pure vanilla extract, chili powder, cinnamon, grated orange rind or other flavoring of your choice, to taste
1/4 cup non-dairy milk of choice, or water, if you prefer

To make the the Drinking Chocolate Mix:
1. In a very dry blender container, grind the cocoa, chocolate, sugar and cornstarch at high speed until there are no lumps in it. Store in a clean, dry jar, tightly covered.

Those lumps you see, BTW, are not chunks of chocolate-- they are clumps of the powder
For each serving: (You can prepare several servings at once, of course.)
1. Mix 2 tablespoons of the Drinking Chocolate Mix into 1/4 cup non-dairy milk, or water, if you prefer, for each serving. Blend with a hand-held immersion blender (or use a blender if you are making a large batch) until well mixed and quite frothy.

2. I heat the mixture in the microwave-- high power for 2 minutes for 3 or 4 servings is fine. For one serving, start with 30 seconds and add seconds as appropriate. The mixture should stay frothy and thicken. If you prefer the stovetop method, heat the mixture in an appropriately-sized saucepan over medium heat. Once the chocolate starts to melt, gently whisk the mixture to combine. Bring the mixture just to the boil-- keep an eye on it! If you are adding a flavoring, this is the time, but don't overdo it!

3. Serve in small espresso cups and enjoy immediately!

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 4 tsp. mix
Amount Per Serving
Calories 56.48, Calories From Fat (20%), 11.48, Total Fat 1.72g,
Saturated Fat 1.02g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 21.86mg, Potassium 105.72mg,Total Carbohydrates 12.3g, Fiber 1.98g, Sugar 6.71g, Protein 1.19g



spencer said...

this looks great, i will have to give it a try! i like my hot chocolate on the rich side anyways. my current go to warm drink is champurrado, a mexican hot chocolate lightly sweetened and thickened with masa--it's a bit like drinking chocolate pudding! (in a good way.)

jacqui said...

This sounds delicious! I'm such a chocoholic.