Originally I bought the chocolate for a cocktail I thought I wanted to try. It looked tasty in the picture and sounded good. It tasted like pencil lead. I do not think I am a cocktail sort of girl. So here's all this lovely chocolate. It tastes pretty bad too, at 85% Cocoa content. ::cringe:: I am a milk chocolate lover, in spite of the much acclaimed health benefits of the darker delight. I tried a piece. I smacked it around in my mouth, relishing its silky melting texture on my tongue. And yet, by my expression, you'd never guess there was anything good about it. My nose wrinkled, my eyebrows knitted together in nothing other than sheer endurance. If I was a child with no concept of how healthy or how expensive it was, I'd have spat it out on the spot with an "Ew!".
Suffice it to say, that was the last time I was going to have it "raw". Now, don't get me wrong. I have worked to expand my taste buds beyond the HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) laden offerings of the mass market food industry. I have heard that people appreciate "bitter" notes in their food and I have taken that with a grain of salt, and given it a try myself. But I just Cannot DO deeply darkly chocolate by itself. And thank goodness, You can't make me, either. :P
What I can do, however, is make something out of it. It started a few weeks ago with the first big snow. I had never made hot chocolate from a bar before, but I knew it had to be pretty good, better than just cocoa powder. Or even worse, cocoa Mix. Bleh! Since then, I have been tossing some variations about on the ingredients list, but it generally remains the same items. I have a tendency to add by the pinch or dash and what not until it tastes right. But, thankfully for you, I think I have narrowed down the measurements pretty close to what I find myself putting in most of the time. And so, I unleash onto the world:
LJ's Buzzin' Hot Chocolate
Approx 20 minutes
4 Cups Milk 2% or better (I use Horizon organic)
1/2 C Water
2/3 C Sugar
3.5oz Bar of 85% Dark Chocolate (such as Green & Black's Organic)
1/4 C + 2Tbs Cocoa Powder
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
2 tsp freeze dried coffee
1 & 1/2 tsp Real vanilla extract
Mix water and sugar together in 2Qt pot. Get it good and hot (don't boil), stirring until sugar dissolves.
Smash or break chocolate bar into smaller pieces (whack it with a hammer before opening wrapper) and melt into the sugar water, whisking regularly to avoid scorching.
Once smooth, whisk in cocoa powder, salt and coffee.
Whisk until all lumps are gone. If having trouble, add about a 1/4 cup of the milk and whisk again.
Slowly add remaining milk, whisking all the while.
Turn heat to medium-low and cover pot with lid.
Allow to heat slowly, do not boil, whisk occasionally.
Once steamy, remove from heat and whisk in vanilla.
Pour into your favorite mug, add copious amounts of marshmallows and whipped cream and prepare for a lovely chocolate buzz.