Home Made Cocoa Mix

1/2 cup baking cocoa
1 cup granulated sugar
2 2/3 cups powdered milk
2 dashes of salt

Pour all ingredients into a big bowl, and mix until well combined. Store mix in an airtight container.

Place three or four teaspoons of mix in a mug, add hot water, a drop of vanilla or rum. Stir well.

Instructions for making the perfect hot chocolate:

Ingredients:
  • The best hot chocolate powder you can find (not Nestlé - Cadbury and Galaxy are good)
  • A shot of Baileys per mug of Hot Chocolate
  • Whipped cream
  • A bar of good dark chocolate
  • Full cream milk (not semi skimmed)

Directions:
Get enough milk to make your hot chocolate and put it into the microwave until its hot. While this is being heated, pour a shot of Baileys and three teaspoons of chocolate powder into each mug and mix together to form a paste. Lick the spoon (this is the best bit, Baileys and chocolate, mmmm). Once the milk it hot, pour this into the mug (see how easily it mixes, aren't you glad you made that paste - no chocolate powder glued to the bottom of the mug). Now drop a big dollop of whipped cream on top and grate some dark chocolate on top. Serve with good music and a log fire.

Hot Chocolate, of course, was also the name of the band that gave the world the legendary disco hit 'You Sexy Thing'.

The group was formed in 1969, their first project being a reggae version of 'Give Peace a Chance - they changed the lyrics slightly, but John Lennon gave his permission, and so the cover version was released. In 1970, they signed a record deal and recorded the single Love is Life, which went to a number 6 on the charts. Band members changed frequently during the first years, although center point remained lead singer Errol Brown with the shaved head. Their first name was 'The Hot Chocolate Band', which was quickly shortened.

Hot Chocolate went mainly for singles in their first years, and their first album wasn't released until 1974. 'You Sexy Thing', their greatest and longest-living hit, was released in 1975 and made it to the top of the charts. In fact, from 1970 to 1984, the band had at least one hit every year. Other well-known songs include 'It Started With a Kiss' and 'Everyone's a Winner'

In the semi-interesting trivia section, we note that Hot Chocolate was actually invited to the pre-wedding reception of Charles and Diana at Buckingham Palace in 1981 alongside heads of government and European royals. Sources say nothing about performing, but the likelihood that they were singing 'You Sexy Thing' is not overwhelming.

Errol Brown left the group in 1985, and the band stopped recording at about the same time. Brown resurfaced in the early 90s as a solo artist, and in 2001, he released the album Still Sexy.

Discography from All Music Guide:
1974 Cicero Park
1975 Hot Chocolate
1976 Man to Man
1978 Every 1's a Winner
1979 Going Through the Motions
1980 Class
1982 Mystery
1983 Love Shot
(+ an endless series of compilations and boxes)


Sources:
http://www.borderlinebooks.com/uk6070s/h11z.html
http://www.errolbrown.com
http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Palms/9855/Hot.html
http://www.allmusic.com/cg/x.dll?p=amg&sql=B18322
And thanks to Saige for making me add the discography.

People often imagine that switching to a vegan diet (or otherwise avoiding dairy products) would mean missing out on chocolate, but it needn't be so - there are many good vegan dark chocolate bars around, in fact, and there are also several interesting vegan variations on the hot chocolate. Indeed, the hot chocolate consumed by the Mayans and Aztecs hundreds of years ago - quite bitter, often with chillies - was probably vegan. More in keeping with today's style of chocolate-drinking, hot chocolate turns out to be one of the things soya does very well; you can easily make a rich hot chocolate with soya milk (or oat milk) in place of cow's milk. Hot chocolate made with oat milk and soya milk mixed together, with brown sugar or maple syrup and plenty of cocoa powder, is at least as rich as anything that can be made with cow's milk.

To make a tasty, nutritious and filling food drink which is just on the sweet side of savoury, mix chocolate and hazelnut spread* with tahini and treacle or dark sugar and fine oatmeal, perhaps adding a little pear juice or apple juice, and heat it in a cup in a microwave or a pot on a low heat until it is just boiling, then heat it for about a minute and a half or so in the microwave (for a big cup), or simmer it for a couple of minutes on a hob.

To make a very satisfying hot chocolate drink without any milk or soya (or using only a little), mix together cocoa and cinnamon and perhaps some other sweet spice - nutmeg, cloves, cardamom - or a few drops of hazelnut oil or toasted sesame oil, with syrups like malt syrup and/or maple syrup and a little treacle, until you have a good thick paste; then add hot water. Optionally, coffee can be added (in which case you should leave out the treacle) or indeed tea - which makes a kind of chocolate chai. Stir well until the ingredients are good and mixed.

* Which of course is not always vegan, but there is a very good brand of organic vegan fairtrade chocolate and hazelnut spread called Chocoreale, and I'm sure there are various other kinds...

Most amusing is the heated debate between the Roman Catholic Church and Mexican parishioners over the propriety of drinking chocolate in church. Chocolate had enough regard for its medicinal properties that ladies attending church claimed that drinking it during church services kept their frail bodies awake during long sermons and staved off fainting spells. Church officials, however, viewed the sybaritic drink as an indulgence, and most importantly, a violation of the fast laws. The issue eventually escalated all the way to the Vatican, which shrewdly resolved the matter in 1662, when Pope Alexander VII proclaimed that liquids did not break the fast.

Most people don't know how to make hot chocolate from cocoa properly. While if you are making hot chocolate from hot chocolate powder, you can just slop it into a mug with some milk and microwave it, this approach will not work for cocoa, or for cold chocolate. to do things properly;

  1. Put 1 heaped tablespoon of cooking cocoa, and 2 table spoons of caster sugar into a pint glass, or big-ass mug.
  2. Add a few drops of full-cream milk, and stir with a spoon until it forms a lump of chocolate. If it has a liquid consistency, you added too much.
  3. Add about twice as much milk again, and mix to a thick paste
  4. Continue stirring, and add progressively more milk, rather like making mayonnaise, until you have a full pint glass.
  5. Nuke for 2 minutes or so, or drink with ice, depending on the season
If you just arbitrarily mix the ingredients, the cocoa, which is abjectly hydrophobic, will not go into suspension in the milk, and you'll end up with an undrinkable mess.

As Oolong notes, the Aztecs and the Mayans were the original chocoaholics, and whilst in the West we are used to chocolate being a sweet food they almost exclusively used the cocoa bean in combination with maize, water and chillis in order to make a spicy, bitter drink which thy called xocolatl (see Lometa's excellent Chocolate writeup). Unfortunately, I do not have the recipe for this - however anyone who has ever eaten tamales, a Mexican dish, will have a fair idea of what it might have tasted like.

Instead, I can provide you with this simple recipe, passed down through generations of Europeans and adapted to the needs of a population with an obscene sugar habit. It differs from those above in not requiring any fancy equipment such as microwaves, although I suppose one of these could be used if you don't mind the flavour adulteration and the extra effort involved. It is far simpler and better to make it in a saucepan, either at home on the stove or in the great outdoors over the campfire. The only other thing you need is a spoon.

Nowadays, the best hot chocolate-mix in the world comes from Mexico - the stuff in hard crumbly blocks with a flavour more complex and delicious than anything Nestlé could ever dream of. Unfortunately, this can be a little hard to come by for those of us not in the Americas, so if you're not in a position where you can just walk down to the local milk bar and pick up a packet, try this instead. I think it's a fairly good imitation, but then again it's a long time since I was in Rosarita.

Ingredients for two:

Method:
  • Eliminate all lumps from the cocoa, sifting if necessary
  • Using but a dash of milk, combine all ingredients into a thick paste
  • Place over a low heat and slowly add milk, stirring constantly. Allow to warm gently.
  • When the chocolate is becoming hot to the touch, stop stirring and let it settle as it reaches optimum temperature
The mixture should be a dark, dark brown, with a lighter frothy layer on top. It is a bone of contention whether or not to allow the hot chocolate to boil - some swear by the delicious "skin" of fat which forms when boiling takes place, while others claim this kills the flavour. Personally, I find it most flavoursome to allow the hot chocolate to reach the point where tiny bubbles are forming (hence, technically boiling) but not let it boil over or form the skin.

When it comes to serving, the septics have the right idea: plop a marshmallow in there for maximum goodness. Although I admit this can be a bit too sweet at times.

The best idea is to make a huge cauldron of the stuff and let it sit on the stove all night, keeping at just the right drinking temperature.

One of the beauties of hot chocolate is it dresses up or down as nice as you please.

It's the comfort of plain old swiss miss cocoa powder and mini-marshmallows for sitting around in flannel jammies while snowed in. (But it's still better with milk than water.)

It's made class of real chocolate or cocoa with a shot of fine liquor topped in hand-whipped cream to finish off a dinner party.

It's anything in between.

Lately, flavored hot chocolate mixes have been big on hitting the market.
Older versions include double chocolate, mint chocolate, chocolate with hazelnut, and "latte" chocolate and vanilla. Newer flavors include Irish cream flavor, raspberry cocoa, cherry cocoa.

Lovely things to add to cocoa from your spice cabinet:
mint of any kind
cinnamon or cinnamon stick
nutmeg

Lovely things to add to cocoa from your liquor cabinet:
baileys Irish cream
Godiva of any flavor or creme de cocoa
rumplemintz or other peppermint flavor
Chambord
Kirsch

Cocoa for a cold:

I've used this recipe many a time when a sore throat was just setting in. It eases the pain a lot and sometimes even staves the cold off entirely. Peppermint oil, it appears, is good for the throat and lungs. Two or three mugs at the onset has kept me from getting sicker several times.

Boil water. (This is the ONLY time I use water for instant cocoa--the oils are not properly soluble in milk.) Put mint of any kind (fresh or dried) in a teabag and steep until the water is a dark green color and there is a thin film of natural oil atop the water. Squeeze the teabag until no more water runs out.

Add two packets of instant cocoa and stir. Dissolve whipped cream or marshmallows in as desired.

For a numbing-of-the-pain effect and to smooth out the earthy flavor a bit, you can add a capful (about 1/3 shot) mint schnapps and creme de cocoa. (Don't use your good stuff, liquor or cocoa. It doesn't make that much of a difference.) This brew, however, is quite effective and tasty without the alcohol as well so don't go out of your way to get it if it's not at hand.

Let's suppose, for example, that you are expecting surprise company, and they are due to arrive in too little time for you to jump into your jeans and descend in the same manner as an unleashed force of nature to the nearest shop and buy the All-Necessary-Stuff for proving yourself a decent host.

So....What ever shall you do ?

Well, luckily stumbling upon this node,so you will no longer have to fear that unforeseen ( and let's hope that NOT unwanted) guests will ever catch you

impromptu!

So, here's what you need :

some instant chocolate powder ( any brand, no matter)

some left-over butter( I'm pretty sure you'll stumble upon some bits and pieces in your fridge )

milk ( the fatter the better -- don't worry , you're not going to develop an atheroma on your coronaries from milk! It's the other foods that you have to keep an eye on...)

and last but not least....

The secret and most powerful ingredient of them all...

Dry Chocolate Pudding Mix!

(Or,You can just mix some plain ol' flour (2-3 tsp.) with some cold water in a small glass until it becomes homogenous and able to pour on itself ( kind of like glue,or jelly, I hope you get the picture ... ).

Now let's get to work ! ( Remember that you're running out of time ! )

In a medium pot ( or kettle ~ 500 mL ) you add :

  • the chocolate powder ( now I usually put 3 teaspoons of powder )

  • the 3 tablespoons of pudding mix ( or the raw material made from flour and water )

  • sugar ( here your own taste comes -- you put as much as you like )

  • the butter (approximately 3 teaspoons)

  • milk ( until it reaches half of its volume ).

Now light the fire on your cooking machine ( I know, I know, old style ! ) and start stirring from once in a while so the mix doesn't stick to the bottom and burns.

When it's almost ready to boil it will become more and more creamy and viscous. Depending on how 'hard' you like it ( now stop thinking naughty thoughts,we're making chocolate here!), you put out the fire and Et Voilà!

your hot yummy chocolate is ready!

Depending on your tastes now, you can use your imagination and add as you wish : whipped cream, caramelized almonds, caramel syrup,vanilla bits, etc.

But remember! Everything comes in moderation, including moderation,so,don't add too much or too many delicious toppings,because it's supposed to be a quick dessert,not cause diabetes!

 

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