I recently returned from 6 months in Paris, spending a great deal of time with the chocolate and pastry kings. Whether I was talking with Jacques Genin about his work, nudging Pierre Cluizel to try some new ideas at his new chocolate concept store, or just enjoying some Jean-Paul Hévin pieces, the one thing in the back of my mind was . . . their hot chocolate.
They each do great things with their chocolat chaud, but I’m possessed with the idea that they haven’t spent enough time on decadent blends and the science behind what goes into the cup. So I’m hoping The Chocolate Life brain trust can offer some insights. Any thoughts you have on the below would be greatly appreciated!
Preface: I’m using a blend of bars, in non-equal proportions, as the basis for the hot chocolate – Domori Porelana, Amedei Grenada, Cluizel Maralumi Lait, Pralus Ghana, and Bonnat Chuao…
Thanks in advance for any thoughts you might have. - Adam / Paris Pâtisseries
I Never looked at the science behind hot chocolate making like yourself, thanks for the detailed input.I drink my Chocolat chaud like the mayans. I like to include Cinnamon and Cayenne Pepper in mine. I do not see how the taste gets harsh when you infuse it in milk or cream, you just need the right amount of spices.
Couple of questions:
1. Why create such a complex blend? Without coming across as a jerk, to me the blend sounds pretentious. As soon as you add milk and various spices to it, 99% of the population won't notice the difference. In fact I would hazard a guess that not even the most refined chocolate pallates in the world will be able to pick out the nuances in the various bars you are using. This is the same philosophy as taking an $80 bottle of shiraz and using it in a stew. It's a waste, as other flavours overpower the delicate nuances in the wine, just as other flavours in your drink (and the milk too) overpower the nuances present in each of the chocolates you are blending together.
2. Why are you using chocolate? You don't have near the control you would if you used liquor.
3. Traditional drinking chocolate is thickened with corn starch. You can create a very rich, creamy drink without all the fat by using 3.25% homogonized milk and cornstarch. There's enough fat already in the chocolate / liquor. No need to add more in the form of animal fat. At the same time you can boast to your customers that you are taking them closer to the origin of chocolate than the guy next door.
My experience for what it's worth, and we've been written up all over Canada for the drinking chocolate we offer.
Hi, Brad. Thanks so much for your feedback. Going through your thoughts in order…
Thanks again for your thoughts. - Adam
Hey Adam and Brad,
I know this might sound terrible on such a chocolate forum but I love milk chocolate. Especially cadburys milk drinking chocolate (Chocolaty, milky and sweet). My wife and I have tried to make a hot milk chocolate drink at home a million times using all sorts of recipes we found on the internet but nothing comes close. We want to try to make it from base ingredients. We've tried melting dark chocolate and mixing with dried milk powder and cocoa butter, then putting it all in a pot with some milk. Tastes ok but is still too bitter. Any suggestions on how to make a good milk hot chocolate without using cocoa powder?
Try this recipe:
1 oz pure liquor / unsweetened chocolate (the best you can buy)
3 oz regular granulated sugar
8 oz homogonized milk
2 tsp cornstarch
Mix the cornstarch with the sugar.
shave the liquor
bring the milk to a boil
Remove the milk from the heat and add the sugar and liquor and whisk until thick and creamy.
If you want it sweeter, add more sugar. If you want it darker add more liquor. If you want it thinner use less cornstarch, and if you want it thicker, add just a wee bit more.
Let me know how that works for you.
Then you can experiment with various combinations of the following:
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp chinese 5 spice powder
1/8 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp allspice and cayenne pepper
3/4 tsp garam masala & 1 tsp vanilla (awesome earthy woodsy flavour)
Hope that helps. Let me know how that works for you.
Oh... and I prefer milk chocolate over dark chocolate too! But, shhhhhh! Don't tell anyone!
i hope you don't mind me asking, but when u say garam masala, what combination of spices are u refering to?
here in India we have 28 states and each one has their own blend of garam masala.
Chirag, thanks for resurrecting this thread, I had missed it earlier.
I can say that the hot chocolate we drink in Colombia is very popular with a favorite being the addition of white cheese, which melts in the chocolate and also releases some slightly sour milk fat. Very good. Not sure if it is common elsewhere. I do remember friends from the UK who were shocked and refused to put cheese in their hot chocolate.
I have never heard of this before but it is something I would be interested in trying. So what is 'white cheese', could you liken it to a type? Is it a soft salty cheese like ricotta or something more mature, less salty like fetta?
Tom, the cheese is similar to mozarella. They call it 'queso campesino' or country/peasant cheese. There are some videos on youtube of the process to make it.
Some people use mozarella, it's a matter of personal choice. The cheese is cut into cubes and put into the cup to heat up before drinking. The queso campesino retains its structure and becomes chewy, which is really nice. I guess a more neutral flavor is preferable to more mature cheeses.
Thanks Felipe, so the concept is as a flavouring agent but also for texture? I assume you would get the lumps at the bottom or does it float kind of like a marshmallow in hot chocolate concept? Oh and how much would one typically add to say a 250ml mug of hot chocolate? And how do you make your hot chocolate, with milk or water?
For those of you interested, Adam finished his recipe tweaking and did a post on his blog back in Jan