I used to like hot chocolate when I was a kid, but nowadays I find it too sweet and weak tasting. When I eat bar chocolate, I like Lindt dark chocolate. (The regular Lindt, not the super-dark bars with the percentages listed.) Does anyone make a hot-chocolate equivalent of a good dark chocolate?
I’ve looked in the store to no avail. Dark hot chocolates all seem to have as much, if not more sugar than the regular. If I look for low-sugar hot chocolate all I find is stuff with fake sweeteners. I’m actually not necessarily looking for dark chocolate in the sense of not having any dairy or dairy-subsitute content. I’m just looking for something with more cocoa and less sugar than the standard Swiss Miss.
I have done much practical research on this topic. I agree with just melting chocolate in milk. My current fave: Nuke 10-12 ounces of milk (your choice, skim to full fat) with a meager handful (maybe one-quarter cup or a little more) of Ghiradelli 60% cacao dark chocolate chips. Stir vigorously. Very chocolatey, and not very sweet.
If you want to tart it up, you can add some vanilla or almond extract.
I even had a big mug for dinner once when exhausted, with a shot of vodka and some peppermint extract.
I make my own, too, and in similar proportions to Pleonast. 3 tablespoons of cocoa (Droste, Ghirardelli, or Hershey, in descending cost) to about 2 tablespoons of sugar, plus a pinch of salt. Then I pour a tiny bit of hot water in and whisk (why yes, I do own a tiny whisk just for this purpose) till smooth, stir in 10-12 oz cold milk, and nuke for 1-2 minutes.
I love some decadently rich hot chocolate, with real chocolate melted into milk, but for more daily use, or if I don’t want something too heavy or caloric, I really like my hot cocoa.
After Starbucks took it off the menu (mid-2000s?), I searched for a long time to find an equivalent recipe to their Chantico chocolate drink. I found it, then made it with darker chocolate. The end result is something between the bitterness (but still not as burnt-tasting as coffee) of their Ebony Hot Chocolate that they dropped in the 1990s(?) and the rich thickness of their Chantico drink.
I drink it maybe twice a year, because the next day I’ll tend to get a caffeine withdrawal that leaves me useless for half a day (probably because I normally avoid caffeinated drinks during the rest of the year) and it’s definitely not good for the waistline.
Shall I post the recipe?
Lead me not into temptation.
I can find it myself.
1-1/2 quarts whole milk
1/2 cup Dutched cocoa powder
1 cup sucralose based sweetener
Pour a quart of milk into a blender
Add the Dutched cocoa powder and the sucralose based sweetener
Blend at very low speed for several minutes
Pour in the remaining milk
Blend at very low speed for several more minutes
For a frothy drink, make in 1/2 sized batches and blend on high
Yes, please. I enjoy having different things to do with cocoa drinks. I make one with coffee and almond extract, and another one with cinnamon and a dash of chipotle powder. Oh, and another one with pumpkin pie spice that pretty much ends up like a chocolate chai. I’d love to hear what you make, since I’m unfamiliar yet intrigued by those drinking chocolates, but have never indulged.
I found a little kit in Marshall’s with blocks of dark chocolate on sticks (six of them). You’re supposed to dip it in a mug of hot milk and stir. It’s pretty good, but not as good as some professionally-made hot chocolates I’ve had.
I’ve also tried heating some milk in a pan, then chucking in a handful or so of semisweet chocolate chips (plus a dash or two of vanilla extract) and whisking until frothy.
Disclaimer: I have no idea what kind of sweetener content this has.
Chantico (“Mayan” Hot Chocolate)
Starbucks marketed their Chantico drink as “Mayan” Hot Chocolate, that they claimed was based on the legend that Moctezuma+ drank an especially thick form of hot chocolate/hot cocoa as an aphrodisiac, consumed dozens of cups per day, lived to be ancient, and had a huge roster of concubines and wives that he kept satisfied. Critics noted that a chocolate drink with Central American roots would (invariably?) tend to have cinnamon or cayenne or something spicy-hot in it. I didn’t care about the legends or the critics or the history; I just knew I liked it. Apparently I was in the minority; I think this product lasted only about two years before Starbucks pulled it off the menu.
I found several ‘knock-off’ recipes on-line, culled the commonalities between them, and came up with the following:
Measuring cups and spoons, of course
I found a kitchen scale to be helpful, but many of you are going to end up adding chips to-taste
Mini-pot (mine is a little stainless steel camper’s model, about 4" wide and 4" deep because I only make it for 1 or 2 people at a time and spreading chocolate too thin will risk burning it)
Mini-whisk (mine is only about 6" long and .5" to .75" wide at its widest part. I found a normal whisk can’t get into the corners of the mini-pot)
The recipes I found on-line called for Nestlés semi-sweet chips. I used Nestlés Dark chips (which may not have been around when the recipes were originally posted) and, because I’m a glutton, doubled the chips for my palate.# I’ve heard Ghirardelli and Guittard also make excellent products for this indulgence, but I’ve never tried them.
I’ve tried Hershey’s chocolate, and I’ve tried their chips and cocoa powder and even Hershey’s Kisses in recipes. In general I find Hershey’s uses so much wax filler that I can’t taste the cacao product, so I don’t often buy that brand.
To make 1 or 2 servings:
.5 cup milk
1 oz cream
1/8th tsp vanilla
3 oz chips (I double this for me but, as noted earlier, I pay a price later)
To make 4 to 6 servings:
2.5 cups milk
.5 cups cream
.5 tsp vanilla
12 oz chips
In a saucepan over low heat*, melt the chocolate chips, stirring with a mini-whisk as soon as they start to soften.
When the chips are melted, pour in the milk and whisk constantly until smooth.
Add whipping cream* and vanilla***.
*There’s no need to bring it to a boil. Only to steaming hot.
At Starbucks, it was served at around 170-180 degrees.
**I found that whisking the end-product to a froth tended to thin-out the drink as the liquid was forced to encompass air bubbles. However, for that same batch, my wife thought whipping the drink to a froth made it seem thicker to her as the liquid took on more body with the air bubbles in it. I don’t think we’re both right, but I don’t really know who’s wrong. I just know I don’t make mine froth.
***I actually found that the vanilla added too much of an alcohol taste for me (overshadowing the chocolate), so I leave it out. Then again, perhaps that was just crappy cheap vanilla.
#I may be weird or somehow clueless. I tend to like chocolate that’s very dark (70 to 80 % cacao) and bitter, but I can’t stand coffee in any form because to me coffee just tastes like burnt wood soaked in water. I’ve mentioned this to friends as my explanation that coffee tastes too bitter to me and they’ve frowned and uttered skeptical “Okay” or similar comments.
+I thought he was Aztec, not Mayan. That or there’s a college in San Diego that’s got their team names and mascot wrong…