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Hot Cocoa
July 30, 2003
1:21 am
bobvilax2000
Seville, USA
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Anybody have some good recipes for making a darker/bitter tasting drink using cocoa powder? The cocoa doesn’t really disolve for me. If I let it sit to cool, it just sinks to the bottom. It seems to melt when I have it on the stove with a bit of water because it turns to a sauce type paste. Any suggestions?

August 9, 2003
11:53 am
Martin Christy
London, United Kingdom
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It’s in the nature of cocoa powder that it is not technically soluble in water – you only ever get a suspension. It should behave better than your experience though! Maybe it has too much direct heat? What brand are you using? It’s worth trying a few, there really are differences in cocoas from the better makers just as there are with the chocolate bars – not all cocoa powder is the same!

Is it dutched / made with alkali? That’s supposed to make it easier to use. But personally I prefer the untreated type.

Many of the better chocolate houses make their drink with chocolate rather than cocoa powder – have you tried that?

Martin Christy
Editor
http://www.seventypercent.com

Martin Christy Editor www.seventypercent.com
August 12, 2003
2:18 am
bobvilax2000
Seville, USA
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Ah, I see… Well, I actually found that cooking it to extremes on the stove helps it stay a little more distributed in the water. The hotter the water I use, the more obedient it is. Nope, not dutched, but I wouldn’t want a dutched cocoa. It’s just Hershey’s, anyway, so I doubt it’s the best. Again, I’m from the states, so I don’t have much access to better makers. On the same note of me being from the states, I wouldn’t want to melt my chocolate down to drink it. It’s too hard to come by for me. I’ll look around for better cocoa.

August 12, 2003
5:14 am
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Actually, chocolate isn’t too hard to come by in the states. Just take my advice that I posted to your other question, and you should be fine. Paying a small shipping fee might be the price you have to pay (pun intended) for good chocolate, but it’s really worth it. Also, try this for good hot chocolate:

three tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
about 1/2 teaspoon sugar (maybe more, maybe less, depending on taste)
dash cinnamon
drop vanilla
cup coffee (8oz)

It’s wonderful. Experiment with ingredients to your liking.

August 13, 2003
2:47 am
bobvilax2000
Seville, USA
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My hot cocoa is pretty similar, except I just use water rather than coffee. Mine is:

3 TBS. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 TBS. sugar
1/4 TSP. cayenne pepper (Plus a little)

I put all of that in the bottom of a mug, which is about 1 1/2 cups, then pour boiling water over it to the halfway point of the mug. I then stir and stir until all of the chocolate is mixed thoroughly in the water. Then I fill the rest of the mug with warm water in just to cool it down a bit. This is my newest strategy to mix it and it seems to work the best.

The cayenne pepper gives it a nice little kick. It tastes pretty ordinary when you first take a sip, but as you swallow, your mouth starts to kind of tingle. Mmmm… I’ve added vanilla extract before, but I can’t really tell a difference.

August 13, 2003
4:48 am
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Cut back on the sugar, and you’ll notice the vanilla more.

August 14, 2003
10:44 pm
Martin Christy
London, United Kingdom
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You can get a very nice, naturally sweetened drink, using rice milk. We have this cold with no added sugar, some good cocoa and frothed with a cappuccino whisk, which acts as a kind of ‘molinillo’. This creates a lovely froth on top, reminiscent of the original chocolate drinks of the Aztecs who prized the froth above all else.

A few drops of vanilla, or natural orange flavour round this is off nicely, or maybe a dash of a liqueur like Grand Marnier to give it a little kick.

All the best hot chocolate drinks I’ve had have been made with chocolate dissolved in hot water or milk, rather than with cocoa. You are probably getting a better quality of bean in a good chocolate than you would in a cocoa anyway.

Martin Christy
Editor
http://www.seventypercent.com

Martin Christy Editor www.seventypercent.com
August 18, 2003
4:46 am
bobvilax2000
Seville, USA
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I used just a teaspoon of sugar and poured a bit of vanilla extract into my cocoa tonight, and it was great! It smooths out the flavor nicely. What would be a good proportion of vanilla to cocoa? I just dumped some in, but I like to have exact measurments so that I can have the same result each time.

August 20, 2003
4:19 am
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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It all depends on personal preference. I only like a drop because I don’t want an overpowering vanilla flavor. Use it as you would salt: with caution and to taste.

August 20, 2003
8:28 pm
bobvilax2000
Seville, USA
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Yeah, vanilla extract is powerful stuff. Just a quarter teaspoon can go a long way.

Btw, this whole thread was pointless. I’m an idiot and thought that it was the cocoa collecting at the bottom of my mug, but it was actually the cayenne pepper that has lost it’s spice and sunk to the bottom. I now heat the water with the pepper in it so that the water get a little spicy, then strain it onto my cocoa. Bitter/sweet/spicey chocolate. Tasty.

I’ll have to try that rice milk option. I can’t use normal milk because I’m mildly lactose tolerant and it upsets my stomach. Rice milk makes it creamier, I’d imagine? I wish that I could get the water based cocoa a little bit creamier than it is. I’d try using chocolate, but I’d rather eat it than melt and drink it. Besides, good chocolate is expensive and I’m cheap, hehehe.

August 23, 2003
4:27 am
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Rice milk is also a little sweet, so keep that in mind if you try it. If you want the ultimate “cocoa,” just use heavy cream and melted chocolate; technically, this would be called a genache, and people don’t normally drink it like hot chocolate. If it was, then the world’s weight problem would be a lot worse than it is now.

September 7, 2003
4:00 am
theobroma
MIlwaukee, USA
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September 7, 2003
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hi
i don’t often make hot chocolate for myself, but here are two suggestions:
1. If you’re having trouble melting the chocolate, mix it with boiling water or hot milk in a glass container over boiling water. If you heat chocolate in metal, the heat is less evenly distributed and the chocolate is easier to burn. If you heat it in glass over boiling water, letting the glass be partially immersed in the water, you have a better chance for success. You’ll have to keep stirring it though, and drink it before it cools for it to stay suspended…

2. what may be easier is to shop for a fondeau maker for chocolate… I’m not sure if such a thing exists, but some may be better than others for the purpose. Then you could eat the thick liquid chocolate with a flaky pastry or on its own… with your finger!

I’m not sure if i’m giving you good advice…
Has anyone else tried chocolate fondeau?
Kyle

Oh no! My Agustus!

Oh no! My Agustus!
September 7, 2003
2:56 pm
bobvilax2000
Seville, USA
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I actually have seen a chocolate fondeau pot somewhere on the internet during my search for chocolate. I really have no clue where it was, but they do exist! They recommended dipping strawberries and other fruits into the chocolate.

September 7, 2003
3:09 pm
bobvilax2000
Seville, USA
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Found it. That was easy.

[url]http://www.epinions.com/pr-Cookware-Chantal_Chocolate_Fondue_Pot[/url]

September 8, 2004
7:51 am
alex_h
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might not be the right place for this: but has anyone tried ibarra? probably not the best, but i like the way it comes in “wheels”. what say you, lone?

September 8, 2004
9:22 am
Polarbear
Tromsø, Norway
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I make hot choc the simple way: Heat milk slowly, add generously dark choc, stir a lot. Drink. No cocoa powder drink beaths the real thing. If I have to make it with powder, I like to add some vanilla grains, scratched from a vanilla pod.

I try most of my chocs for drinking as well as eating, because the heat may reveal more aroma. It highlights the differences.

I also like hot chocolate with a bit of cognac in. Somewhat like drinking a good praline [:)]

***
My name is Polarbear and I am a chocoholic…

*** My name is Polarbear and I am a chocoholic...
September 8, 2004
10:27 am
alex_h
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hot chocolate also goes well with baileys or amaretto :-D

September 8, 2004
5:52 pm
chocolatero
london
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September 5, 2004
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Arrgh!!! It hurts me to read some of this
Apologies but you DON’T need to beat/stir the **** out of hot chocolate to make it mix.
These are the 2 secrets to a good hot chocolate – NOT OFTEN TOLD
but i like this website so…

1)Chocolate is a FAT product and milk or water or watever you use is a WATER product and these DO not mix easily. So hot chocolate need to be made as a mayonnaise by emusifying the chocolate and the milk.
to do this, heat the milk at least to 80 degrees C (more and it will burn; adding a bit of sugar to milk may prevent burning). Chop the chocolate in small bits and put in a separate bowl. When the milk is hot, pour some of the milk BIT by BIT onto the chocolate (NOT THE OPPOSITE). Don;t whip, just move im small circles witrh spoon from the centre out. this should form a shiny paste, which is the base of your emulsification. When the emusification has started, you can add the milk faster. Remember in an emusification, you add the water base to the fat base progresssively, not the opposite!

2) let me mix rest and cool uncovered. Then sieve and reheat. in gerenal we make it one day in advance. By allowing to cool, you are allowing the chocolate to critallise and bind the ingredients into a different molecular structure. The result will feel thicker and more velvety

If you use any reasonable chocolate with this, you should have a great result.
For full recipe (although proportions can vary with taste), look at our website under recipe http://www.artisanduchocolat.com

If anyone is interested in understanding emulsification, which is the base of almost all cooking with chocolate, here is the book I recommend: Au Coeur des Saveurs from Frederic Bau, who is the chef at the Valrhona school. Any scientific book on choc will do too. I think Martin has one in his book section

Let me know how your experiments go.
Choco regards
Chocolatero

September 8, 2004
7:02 pm
Lone Ly
Oslo, Norway
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I tried this recipe when I bought a bag of ganache from your shop, and honestly it is not the best hot chocolate I have made. In fact it was the very thickness I didn’t like (thought about trying without the cream and/or with semi-skimmed milk instead), but I also think the chocolate taste didn’t really come through – if you see what I mean.

I thought about replying to several of the issues mentioned here (amongst them vanilla extract – what the ****!!! ;-) ),
but I’d like to focus on the various ways of making chocolate which obviously need to be discussed. As far as I can understand there are five different ways:

1) The one described above
2) Melting chocolate over a double heater, mix with hot milk
3) Heat milk, when almost boiling add chopped chocolate -
4) As 3, but continue boiling for a couple of minutes to make it thicker
5) Chop chocolate, add to cold milk or milk holding room temperature (ie. same as chocolate), heat slowly (why heating milk alone slowly, Polar?).

Evt use a whisk to make it foamy.
Chocolatero, as far as I understand, making foam is the reason why several sources suggest to beat/whisk.

To me it is obvious, from numerous experiments with different methods and different bars, that it depends on the chocolate which method is best. Some develop almost other flavors in method 2) and 5), but according to my experience never in ie. 3) and 4) (as suggested by Polar – can you give concrete examples?). On the other hand, some bars seem to survive the chock methods 3) and 4). In general I find these methods most barbaric, often leaving a burnt and choked/strangled taste, although, again, with some bars it seems to play a minor role (e.g. Valrhona Manjari). These two methods are also the far easiest, but 5) is not too complicated either.

I can’t really see the point of making the drink as thick as possible, yet I agree it is important that it mix properly. I have never had any problems doing that though. To me taste, and sometimes convenience, is all important. Why is it necessary to go through the emulsifying process? I do understand it is necessary for other procedures, e.g. desserts.

Btw, by milk I mean
milk,
sugar (depends on the sort of milk as mentioned by others – rice milk or lactose reduced is sweater and less sugar is needed),
a tiny pinch of salt,
eventually vanilla (I always use the stick – either heating the stick itself or the grains), ¨
a tiny piece of dried chili optional.

"Man cannot live by chocolate alone - but woman can." (Unknown)
September 8, 2004
7:30 pm
chocolatero
london
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You have to separate the issue of thickness which is mostly a function of the ratio of chocolate to milk and potentially cream
That to me is very personal. Some people like very thick chocolate, some don’t .Spanish people ususally add corm starch to make it even thicker.

The emulsification is required for the chocolate to disperse into the water/milk and for ultimately the taste to develop. Whatever you tried, you would have had a better result by making sure the emusification was correct. Many people use a whisk to try to correct the fact that the mix is split. To make it frothy, you can use the whisk after the mix is made, not in the cooking process.

Methods 1 or 2 are best but 2 should be tried by adding the milk slowly to the chocolate melted, not the opposite. Have you even made a mayonnaise adding the oil to the vinegar?
in metho 2 you may not need to heat the milk much but have to melt chocolate carefully.
So still think 1 is more convenient.

In general heat milk alone is better as chocolate burns very fast so unless you want to stay stirring all the time…

Finally on the different bars, it is conceivable that the particule size and even more the amount of cocoa butter and dry matters play a part in how the chocolate behave. The higher the cocoa butter content (different from cocoa content), the more difficult the emusification is. Unless you emusify properly, flavours won’t come trough.
But total amount of cocoa butter or dry matter is very hard to know from manufacturers.

For example a 70% chocolate is composed of 30% sugar; the rest is cocoa beans and added cocoa butter. Cocoa beans themselves are composed of about 45-55% of cocoa butter; so total cocoa butter is the sum; 70- that sum is the dry matter (which is in fact the only thing that gives taste)
e.g a 70%chocolate can be 30% sugar; 40% cocoa butter and 30% dry matter; another 70% could be 30 sugar, 44 butter and 26 dry matter
That would make quite a difference in the recipe and in the way the chocolate behaves.

Very few people get this…even in the trade.
that;s all for now

Chocolatero

Did you buy a bag of chocolate bits or ganache from our shop?
I certainly would NOT recommend starting with a ganache
please let’s be clear here: a ganache is a mix of chocolate, cream and butter emulsified to make a centre.