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hot chocolate
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sarabaker
Montaigu de Quercy, France
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January 28, 2006 - 3:18 pm
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please help. i have opened a little shop in france, i want to serve good hot chocolate to drink . I am looking for a good easy to use product that is easily available here, a powder or liquid . I cannot mix grated chocolate etc for each customer so I need somthing easy to use but delicious.
thanks for your help
sara

sarab

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Hans-Peter Rot
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January 28, 2006 - 5:45 pm
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If you're not interested in melting chocolate for each customer, then what you could do is simply make a larger batch and refrigerate it until you need it. All you do is melt chocolate and add milk, cream, or whatever liquid you intend to use, and then you cool it. Afterwards, all you need to do is heat it up, or you could serve it cold if you'd like. I have actually made a very large batch of "hot chocolate" on several occassions, then allowed the mixture to cool overnight. And throughout the following days, I found the flavor to have improved and intensified. You could always experiment with this to see how it works for you.

Besides, if you want my honest opinion, I am highly against pre-packaged mixes anyway, usually because the chocolatiness isn't as strong as I'd like. Most often use cocoa powder, which as you know, does not produce a velvety and thick consistency, and others use pure chocolate. The latter, imo, is much better, but let's face it, you're buying solid chocolate that would be much cheaper if you bought it in couverture format from the outset. True, you might still have to grind it, but you can do this easily and effortlessly to a much finer ground that will melt more readily when heated. Just use a box grater.

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sarabaker
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January 29, 2006 - 4:07 pm
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thank you so much for that, i am going to make my first attempt at hot chocolate from scratch right now. I didnt realize that I can keep the stuff liquid after mixing... I have a lot to learn dont I !
[:)]

sarab

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sarabaker
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January 29, 2006 - 4:25 pm
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hey that is so good, we used some dark chocolate I had in the kitchen and whole milk, delicious, creamy cholaty and yummy, now i wan to try making a big batch, what do you think about heating in the microwave for my customers?

sarab

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Hans-Peter Rot
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January 29, 2006 - 5:06 pm
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Make sure not to store it in the refrigerator long-term because then it might not taste that great if too much time elapses. This also depends on whether or not you're adding other ingredients, such as infusing the milk with jasmine or orange zest.

You can heat it up in the microwave, yes, but the aroma that emanates from an open heating system (e.g. stovetop) would be intoxicating for the customers (hint, hint).

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sarabaker
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January 29, 2006 - 5:26 pm
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true but we only have wee tiny kitchen area for the shop,no stove , a coffee machine and a kettle is all. Plus most of the time its just me serving everything so I have to zoom about multi-tasking all the time .Have a look at our website:www.creme-anglaise.fr
if you want an idea of how we look. We sell paint and homey things mostly.
what do you think about adding cinnamon and stuff like that, would it be popular?
the french sem to serve the hot chocolate in ordinary cafes pretty naff, weak , not hot enough and too sweet, I want to tempt them with somthing much better, i think we are on the way to that already, with your help

sarab

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Hans-Peter Rot
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January 29, 2006 - 6:22 pm
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You have a nice little shop. It looks very homey. Anyway, I think flavoring the hot chocolate would be an excellent idea. Like I said, you could infuse the milk with various ingredients, such as jasmine, orange zest, lavender, etc., or simply add herbs and spices to the beverage as it's heating. If no one else is really doing this and offering sweeter hot chocolate, then you have a niche for yourself right there. You could even rotate the flavors so that there's always something new to try.

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patsikes
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January 30, 2006 - 4:44 pm
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Hi Sara,
You said you had a coffee machine? Does it have a steam wand for doing hot milk for coffee drinks? If it does, you may be able to use that.

Patrick Sikes
P.S. I Love You Fine Chocolates
http://www.psiloveyouchocolates.com

Patrick Sikes www.MyChocolateJournal.com
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Hans-Peter Rot
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January 30, 2006 - 11:26 pm
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Using coffee for hot chocolate is also quite delicious. I do this all the time, actually, and sometimes I add a little extra something-something if I'm in the mood for more flavor. You could use milk in this recipe too...or not. It's up to you and how strong of a beverage you want.

I don't know if you can find these in France, but there's a Dutch cookie I grew up on called Stroopwafels (they're also available through street venders, made fresh!). They're basically two waffles sandwiching a layer of caramel, and the traditional method of enjoying these is to place them on top of a hot cup of coffee so that the steam warms the cookie.

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sarabaker
Montaigu de Quercy, France
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January 31, 2006 - 8:41 am
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they sound yum but I havent seen them here. No the coffee machine has a tube through which the hot frothed milk passes and the hot water tube is slow and not very hot to be honest
Today is the first day since joining this discussion that the shop will be open so i will do some customer research ... if I get any customers . Its a very small town and in winter we do only a little trade.

sarab

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patsikes
Tampa Bay Area, FL, USA
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February 1, 2006 - 4:21 pm
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Sara,

Best of luck on your opening (a day late)...

Not sure if this type of thing would catch you some customers not knowing the local customs, but how about taking some of your hot chocolate or any food for that matter around to the local shops & businesses? How about stopping people for a sample as they walk by outside?

For our business, whenever we do a tasting whether it be at a craft show or at a retail shop (we don't have our own retail space) I put on a nice pair of white waiters gloves, fill up a sliver platter with chocolates and start finding customers on the street.

Patrick Sikes
P.S. I Love You Fine Chocolates
http://www.psiloveyouchocolates.com

Patrick Sikes www.MyChocolateJournal.com
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