Hot Chocolate is one of my
fetishes indulgences. THIS is what I do for myself that lifts me out of my every day existence, and into the clouds. I do not need to retire to a private space, I do not need a lengthy period of time; only the time it takes to make and drink a quick visit to heaven. My quasi normal attraction to chocolate became manifest at a young age when I found myself using two envelopes of Swiss Miss in one cup, still not satisfied. Then I added some instant coffee, something still missing. C~H~O~C~O~L~A~T~E hmmmmmmm just rolls through your mouth and off your tongue, doesn’t it?
Currently, I use chocolate bars, various spices, non-dairy creamers, extracts, whipping cream, brewed coffee. Well, you get the picture. Anything that would not make the brew curdle or turn my stomach, whichever came first. I got turned on to putting actual chocolate bars into it by my friend, Cindi. That night she became my very best-est friend! I was so grateful to find someone to share my chocolate fetish! For my son’s birthday party, I put together a weird hot chocolate “mix”. I say “weird” only because I was throwing the stuff together the night before the party in a frenzied state, with cocoa powder flying all around. Oh, and I didn’t have time to make recipe cards…ugh. Got closer, though, cuz I actually bought them. Though I did not know it at the time, what I did was not exactly original… or crazy.
Just this week my ego maniac bubble, for being so creative with chocolate, was broken when I found the above book entitled, “Hot Chocolate~50 Heavenly Cups of Comfort”, by Fred Thompson. I found it while shopping at the A&P on sale for $3.99! So, I just had to scoop one up; such fun finding a book at the A&P. Mr. Thompson uses a lot of the things that I do in search for the Ultimate cup of hot chocolate, including creating dry mixes. What a shot in the arm of pure validation! I’d often tell people of the stuff that I mix with coffee or hot chocolate and always got a strange look, or a little comment of dismissal which ended the conversation, cutting off my zen for chocolate. I am always perplexed at the popularity commercial mixes enjoy. The actual chocolate content is almost non-existent.
I am so much of a chocolate freak that I used it as a topic for a speech given as a class project for a public speaking course I took years ago to help myself become comfortable in front of people…. HEY, btw JUSTIN… it worked! I chose to give a demonstrative speech, or maybe they called it an “instructional” speech. So, I took my favorite subject and spoke about making a fast, but utterly delicious and authentic cup of hot chocolate in the microwave. I’ll post the recipe at the end of this article if any of you are interested. I did my homework and even spoke about the history of the cacao bean and the drink that was made by the ancient Mayans. Did you know that their women were forbidden to drink chocolate? Hmph!
I have a mission! Because of my new life style, I need to convert my hot chocolate favorites into decadent sugar free must-have recipes. I have a couple of things going for me here. I already love the dark chocolate which is chock full of antioxidants. I learned in this book that the most popular way in the world to have this drink is to make it with water and not milk, and that will be a big plus. I think what I am going to do is publish a recipe a week for those of you who would be interested in inserting a little heaven into everyday life.
Okay, so here is my quickie, microwavable recipe for Authentic Hot Chocolate. Keep in mind that this is a basic foundation recipe and you can do almost anything to it. I have no idea what to call it, so maybe you guys can post some suggestions. How about this. The one that I pick will get a special mix. Are ya game? Don’t worry, post office people, no liquids needed.
No need to be exact in the measurements. As a matter of fact, be generous with heaping spoonfuls! Everything to YOUR taste.
(SO FAR, UN-NAMED HOT CHOCOLATE)
1 tbsp. Dutch processed hot cocoa powder
1 tsp… Instant coffee (optional for you caffeine lovers)
1-2 tbsp. Non-Dairy creamer, Plain *(or try 1/2 tsp. Arrowroot)
A pinch/dash of salt (optional, but it really does enhance the flavor)
Sugar (I give no measurements because it should go according to your taste, if you like sweet or not so sweet. Be creative with your sugar. You can use any sweetener from refined white (eww!), brown sugar, molasses, honey, sugar free syrup, or whatever)
Put all ingredients in to a microwavable mug, preferably a large one. Boil up some water and pour a little into the mug and stir until ingredients mix well and dry ingredients emulsify.
Okay, here is the part where you get to choose. You can either use all water like when making instant coffee, or you can fill up the rest of the mug with milk or cream or a combination of both.
Microwave initially for 1 minute on 50% power, and in 30 second increments after that to get desired hotness. If your chocolate is not creamy enough, add more non-dairy creamer, arrowroot, or cream. Grate some fresh nutmeg into your cup for garnish. If you use the dried spice kind, remember that fresh is more intense in flavor, so you might need more of the dried stuff.
I am sorry if this is confusing, but I wanted to make it appealing to a wide range of people with varying dietary needs.