Sunday, November 21, 2010

Homemade Mexican Hot Cocoa

Do you ever buy too much of something? Maybe you incorrectly calculate how much you'll need and wind up with way too much? Do you feel guilty not using the excess? Do you have a hard time using up the excess? Do you feel like a bad, bad, wasteful person tossing out the excess once it goes bad because you just couldn't be bothered to use it? That happens a lot to us with milk. Specifically, 'my milk,' which is whole milk, because all other milks taste weak & watery to me. (SP uses skim milk on his cereal.)

I only use my milk for making myself lattes in the afternoons - so maybe 1/4 cup a day. We usually use my milk when we make something like macaroni and cheese or pudding. But we incorrectly calculated my milk last time we bought it and suddenly, it was nearing its expiration date and it was not even half gone. We weren't quite sure how to use it up - we didn't want more macaroni & cheese and I was trying to not make desserts to eat (like instant pudding/mousse). But then SP got the idea to use the milk to make homemade hot chocolate.When I was growing up, hot chocolate meant those Swiss Miss packets of powdered cocoa mix. Just dump the contents into a mug, add boiling water, stir, and voila - instant hot chocolate. Sometimes the packets had mini marshmallows. When I got older, I tried many other mixes, like the Ghiradelli hot chocolate mix packets. I also tried making my own hot chocolate, and while it was tasty, by the time I was interested enough in homemade food/beverages, I was also becoming slightly lactose intolerant.

Mind you, this is not an official diagnosis, but many signs point to it. Milk, ice cream - they can make my stomach feel queasy and sometimes even make me sick. I used to drink a glass of milk every day, but I gave that up many years ago. I get my calcium from yogurt and calcium chews. These days, it's just a bit of steamed milk in lattes or as an ingredient in a pasta dish or dessert dish and I very carefully portion out my ice cream scoops. I rarely, if ever, enjoy a mug of hot chocolate because it always leaves me feeling gross. So I wasn't too excited about homemade hot chocolate. But I watched SP make himself a homemade hot chocolate.

He started with a basic hot chocolate recipe:

1 T cocoa
2 T sugar
2 T water
1 cup milk

Combine the cocoa, sugar, and water in a small saucepan and heat, stirring frequently, until a paste forms.Add 1 cup milk to the 'chocolate paste.'Stir until well combined and heated through. SP 'spiced up' the basic recipe. He added a handful of chocolate chips when he made the paste. Along with the milk, he added a dash of cinnamon and a dash of cayenne pepper plus a splash of vanilla. The result:We had half a vanilla marshmallow leftover from our trip to the marshmallow lady at the Pittsburgh Public Market, so he tossed that on top:I didn't try the hot chocolate. SP really enjoyed this hot dessert beverage. It smelled really good and I really like chocolate with cinnamon and a wee bit of cayenne (Mexican chocolate). I was really, really tempted to try it, but I kept making myself think of all the times I drank hot cocoa and felt sick afterward and I stuck to orange spice tea. But I think sometime soon, I just might have to try this homemade hot chocolate.

1 comment:

  1. Mmm... Gotta love sweet and spicy. A little dash of cayenne on some chocolate is the way to go. I do hope you get to try his recipe at some point.