Chocolate caliente

I have had a hankering for hot chocolate lately -- the homemade kind -- and today's rainy, foggy weather in New York made the yearning reality.

Courtesy of The Joy of Cooking:

Stir together in a small, heavy saucepan:
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetend cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
Vigorously stir in, first by tablespoons and then in a slow, steady stream:
  • 3/4 cup milk
Heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the pan, over medium heat until bubbles appear at the sides. Remove from the heat and stir in:
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla
Top with:
  • Ground nutmeg or cinnamon
  • Whipped cream or marshmallows

I have had a large bag of organic cocoa on hand now for quite a while, not really knowing what to do with the powdery goodness (there are only so many chocolate puddings that you can make for your husband before he has to admit that he doesn't like pudding, anyway). Here and there I had been reading that "milk makes a great workout recovery beverage" and being the kind of person who eschews bottled protein drinks in the first place, I thought that I might doll up my post-bike ride cuppamilk with some cocoa.

Have you had homemade cocoa lately? Not the kind that comes in packets with names like "Goodnight Hugs" (Hersheys) or "Premium White Mocha" (Ghirardelli) or that kind of thing. I'm talking about the kind of recipe that I used, consisting of just three real ingredients: cocoa powder, sugar, and milk. I have to admit that the last time I made homemade cocoa was probably in eighth grade, when I bought Abuelita Mexican chocolate for a Spanish class assignment. Hardly an authentic cultural experience (poor Abuelita is owned by Nestlé), but I still remember having to resort to my mother's cleaver to cut the chocolate disk in half. Try the above recipe instead; it's much simpler, and much cheaper, than buying premade cocoa mixes or a bar of granny choc.

And the taste? I couldn't believe how good it was. Let's just say that I won't wait for another workout to try this one again.


Lisa said...

Did you try grating the Abuelita chocolate?

Another interesting addition would be a very very very tiny amount of cayenne. Very tiny.

Ai Lu said...

I don't remember if I grated the abuelita chocolate or not. It was so long ago!

I love cayenne in sweet foods, so I will definitely try your idea next time!