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ReineV 07-15-2011 12:39 PM

Hot Chocolate: The Great Debate
 
I have gotten into heated "discussions" with friends over how to "correctly" make hot cocoa and I've come to the realization that there are two types of people in this world:
The pro-powders and the anti-powders.

The pro-powders, while they are inclusive of those who indiscriminately grab a box of Swiss Miss from the sales bin at their local food store, also include the powder-connoisseurs who enjoy mixing various powder flavors, adding cinnamon, nutmeg and other ingredients to give their powdered cocoa extra pizazz.

There is in-fighting within the group of pro-powders between those who use milk vs. those who use water in their cocoa...but that's another story.

As for the anti-powders, you would think that their range in preferences wouldn't vary so widely, but they do! During prime hot chocolate drinking seasons, the extremely devoted anti-powder drinker will stock up on various types of solid chocolates. White chocolate chips, blocks of milk chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate are all staples in their pantries...but again, this is ONLY the extremely devoted anti-powder drinker.

Many "regular" anti-powder drinkers are fine with using chocolate syrup or even spare candy bars to mix into their hot chocolate....but one thing that is certain among ALL anti-powder drinkers is that MILK must be used to make hot cocoa. While some will add half and half or even heavy cream to increase the richness of their hot cocoa, it is universally accepted among anti-powder drinkers that milk is a must in the making of all hot cocoa.

Will these two groups ever see eye to eye?!

What are you?

Me? I'm an anti-powder gal, but have been known to settle for powdered cocoa mix when a block of chocolate or chocolate chips aren't handy.

MsChristmas 07-15-2011 01:50 PM

I LOOOOVE Hot Chocolate. I actually do not drink coffee so I really need this a few times a week to give me that boost in the mornings... even more when its cold out of course. I am addicted to hot chocolate! Are you a fan of certain hot chocolates from certain resturants? Panera Bread and Dunkin Donuts are my favorites. Panera defintely my 1st pick. I just got one from there this morning. Im a little sad to say that I have only made my own hot chocolate from powder..but I ALWAYS use milk and have to have whipped cream on top or its just not hot chocolate in my opinion. When you use morsels or bars of chocolate do you melt them on the stove or in the microwave..whats your secret? :-P

MerryCarey 07-15-2011 02:33 PM

For me, the recipe is (1) Ghirardelli ground chocolate and milk, or (2) cocoa, sugar, and milk. I'll make it with 2% milk, but whole milk makes it better. Maybe add a few drops of vanilla extract, or a dollop of Reddi-Whip on top. I can't go back to the powdered mix + water.

If you want to split more hairs:
hot cocoa = made with baking cocoa
hot chocolate = made with melted solid chocolate

Here's a tip I've mentioned before---if you love your hot cocoa, find thee a Cocomotion. This is an appliance made by Mr. Coffee that looks like a blender. Put in the cocoa/powdered mix and liquid of your choice, push the button, and it stirs and heats the mixture until it's done. You can make one to four cups. Easy to wash, too! My Cocomotion sits on my kitchen counter all winter, ready and waiting. We've given several as gifts, and the recipients ALWAYS tell us how much they love it.

shellie12 07-15-2011 02:59 PM

hi for me
its milk heated and with power cholocate, some suger to sweaten and some baby masmallows on top and some times whipped cream
and the best time to drink it ......is in front of a big fire watching a christmas movie and the only light is the lit chritmas tree:-P

Jeff Westover 07-15-2011 03:03 PM

What a great topic!

Personally, to those who would be silly enough to argue over this I would say learn a little about chocolate.

First of all, powedered chocolate can be just fine -- if you get the right kinds. Things like Swiss Miss are mass market stuff with lots of things beyond chocolate and milk solids in it. To me, that's stuff you camp with when you need to fit it in a backpack. That isn't serious cocoa.

But, when you have something like Stephens, for example, well, you're dealing with real chocolate.

"Cocoa" doesn't come from chocolate bars. That's just goofy. Cocoa or chocolate, in it's raw form, is a powder before it becomes a chocolate bar.

So using a "powder" is no sin. It just depends what that powder is made from.

Courtney 07-15-2011 04:20 PM

I use the powdered stuff, preferably Swiss Miss Dark Chocolate. I use hot water, cold milk, whipped cream (Lite or Choco. Cool Whip) and marshmallows, sometimes I'll throw in a handful of choco. chips. It's good with a shot of Smirnoff Vanilla-Flavored Vodka too. Never, ever, use choco. syrup for hot chocolate. :/

My mom prefers to make it with Hershey's Cocoa.

ReineV 07-15-2011 05:00 PM

I use chocolate shavings I found at Williams Sonoma. One is for peppermint hot chocolate, which has tiny shavings of peppermint in it along with the milk chocolate shavings. The other one has regular milk chocolate shavings in it. I've used the tip from Ina Garten on Food Network about mixing both whole milk and half and half into my hot cocoa on the stove. You have to heat the milk/cream mixture up slowly to avoid scorching, and slowly add the shavings while whisking the whole time. I like to use one of those hand held blenders to make sure the mixture is smooth and even after the chocolate has been added. I add a lot more chocolate to mine than the normal person because I have a very serious chocolate addiction ;) After it's all warmed up and blended, into a mug and whipped cream goes on top!

judesmama 07-15-2011 07:22 PM

I'm VERY anti-powder! I have made all sorts of different hot chocolates (white, dark, semi-sweet, dark chocolate-peppermint, etc) - ALWAYS with homemade whipped cream! :)

Maybe I'm a food snob but mmm... delish!

judesmama 07-15-2011 07:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jeff Westover (Post 356300)
What a great topic!

Personally, to those who would be silly enough to argue over this I would say learn a little about chocolate.

First of all, powedered chocolate can be just fine -- if you get the right kinds. Things like Swiss Miss are mass market stuff with lots of things beyond chocolate and milk solids in it. To me, that's stuff you camp with when you need to fit it in a backpack. That isn't serious cocoa.

But, when you have something like Stephens, for example, well, you're dealing with real chocolate.

"Cocoa" doesn't come from chocolate bars. That's just goofy. Cocoa or chocolate, in it's raw form, is a powder before it becomes a chocolate bar.

So using a "powder" is no sin. It just depends what that powder is made from.

And yes - this is true! When I say "anti-powder" I mean MIX. I will def use cocoa powder if I don't have chocolate on hand.

xmas365 07-15-2011 07:58 PM

You don't need to use powder to make it? cheesy


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