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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Chocolate

Did you know that the cocoa bean.....

.....comes from the cacao tree and was originally discovered and cultivated in Mexico, Central and South America over three thousand years ago?

.....was used by the Mayans to prepared their favorite, frothy, bitter, spicy drink and they flavored it with vanilla, similar to the way we prepare it today?

.....was also used to fight fatigue, as a currency and to treat diarrhea?

....was introduced to Europe in the 1600's and that the Industrial Revolution made it possible for worldwide distribution?

....had so many functions?

I love chocolate. Good chocolate.

I don't drink coffee so my hot drink of choice is hot chocolate/cocoa.

I am talking about REAL hot chocolate/cocoa such as Valrona, Guittard or Shaffen Berger. Hershey Syrup, Nesquick, or the prepackaged powdered stuff with tons of sugar(and the like) NEVER pass my lips -- ever.

I admit it, I am a snob when it comes to my hot chocolate. I only drink hot chocolate made from pure unadulterated cocoa powder.

On a cold winter night, there is nothing more comforting and soothing than sipping a wonderful cup of hot cocoa by a blazing fire-- or having a cup of hot cocoa on a cold winter morning before devouring a bowl of steel cut oats.

Did you know, there is a difference between "hot chocolate" and "hot cocoa"?


Hot "chocolate" is prepared one way.....

......by gently heating milk with a handfull of chocolate chips or chunks, stirring constantly until the chocolate is incorporated and melted.

"Hot cocoa" is prepared this way:

....by gently heating together a cup milk and 1-2 tablespoons cocoa powder.

Once the mixture is adequately heated and dissolved, add a couple of tablespoons of Torani syrup, whip the mixture together to produce a nice frothy foam....
....... pour the hot cocoa /chocolate into a nice porcelain mug (no styrofoam, plastic etc...bad for the environment...leaves a bad taste).

A sample of my favorite mugs for hot cocoa/chocolate which are stored together in a special cupboard along with my "chocolate supplies".

...and if you are really feeling wicked, spoon a dollop of whipped cream on top ......and on occasion.. a handful of marshmellows.


..MAKING FOR THE MOST "DEE-LISH" AND DECADENT CUP OF HOT COCOA/CHOCOLATE YOU'VE EVER TASTED.


4 comments:

Natalie said...

Mmmm... I can attest to this, YOU make the best hot cocoa! I need to find some more of that wonderful cocoa powder that you gave me a while ago, where did you buy it?

Jeanette said...

YES! I love my hot cocoa in my Anthropologie initial mug too! I use almond milk.

GwennyMac said...

I have those anthropologie mugs too! (J & G)...love them. Mmm...hot chocolate. I always remember dad making hot chocolate in a saucepan that he and mom probably got for their wedding in 1948. Stirring stirring stirring...making sure that the milk doesn't scald.

Molly said...

That sounds sooooo good. So far I haven't noticed Graham react poorly to chocolate, so I might have to try this true hot cocoa... Yummmmmm.