Cocoa Mill’s Hot Chocolate

Every time it snows my children have come to expect that they will be served hot chocolate after they return indoors from their winter excursions. Not just any hot chocolate mind you, but homemade concoction using their Father’s chocolate; Cocoa Mill’s milk and dark chocolate.  I can guarantee when I place the warm cups of cocoa in front of them they will ask: “Did you make this with Daddy’s chocolate?” the answer is always “Yes.” and there are smiles all around.

Being that it is 3 degrees outside today (but no snow) I thought it would be fitting to share this homemade hot chocolate recipe.

 

What you will need:

4 cups of whole milk

3 oz Cocoa Mill Dark Chocolate

3 oz Cocoa Mill Milk Chocolate

3 Tbsp granulated sugar*

3 tsp. vanilla

6 Tbsp powdered sugar*

1 pint heavy whipping cream

Chocolate shavings

You will also need a mixer capable of whipping cream.

Process:

1. Warm milk in a sauce pan over low heat, (be careful not to boil the milk). When steam begins rising from the milk add your 2 types of chocolate, 1 1/2 tsp of vanilla and 3 Tbsp of granulated sugar. Continue cooking over low heat until chocolate is melted and well blended with the milk.

 

2. Place whip cream in a bowl and add 1 1/2 tsp vanilla and 3 Tbsp of powdered sugar whip with a beater until the cream forms stiff peaks when the beater is removed. Cover and place in refrigerator.

whipcream

There are so many ways you could adjust this recipe, add Bailey’s Irish Creme for an adult beverage, add 3 Tbsp of coffee (or more) for a mocha-chino, add some caramel syrup on top of the whip cream just for an added yum. Let us know what variations you come up with!

*You can also substitute  truvia for sugars or another sweetener to decrease caloric/carbohydrate in take.

You can save the additional hot chocolate mixture for up to a week in the refrigerator and reheat as needed.

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Milk Hazelnut Truffle vs Dark Hazelnut Truffle

The series continues with The Milk Hazelnut Truffle and The Bittersweet Hazelnut Truffle. This truffle is very sweet with light nutty undertones. Crisscrossed white chocolate stripes adorn this simple but pure treasure, letting you know there is more than chocolate to be desired in this round ball of decadence.

These two truffles have the same hazelnut base flavor and both have milk chocolate centers. The hazelnut paste that is used in this truffle is made from crushed hazelnuts, nothing more, nothing less. These two initial observations may cause you to think this truffle is best when enjoyed in milk chocolate, because of the milk centers. You may also ask since they have the same base what is the use in comparing them? Let us delve a little deeper into this natural goodness that is The Hazelnut Truffle.

The Milk Chocolate Truffle is very sweet but balances nicely with the earthy hazelnut flavoring. The flavor delivered in this truffle is very natural and it almost has a woody quality in taste, but is smooth as velvet in texture.  This truffle pairs nicely with a cream sherry such as Amontillado. This sherry is noticeably darker than other sherries. Amontillado offers notes of  hazelnuts and even light cedar, enriching the earth tones already present in the truffle. When these two are a paired the flavor changes a bit giving up more of a roasted hazelnut with a hint of honey. This is a complex sherry that opens up as it sits in the glass, it is one of the most prized sherries for the connoisseur. When coupling the Anmontillado and the Hazelnut Truffle it creates an experience that will be cherished all the more.

The Bittersweet Chocolate Truffle still has the same the same center with earthy natural undertones but when dipped in the dark chocolate you loose a bit of the sweetness. The dark chocolate only enhances the woody, earthy  flavors creating a stronger hazelnut experience. This truffle pairs nicely with Ethiopia Amaro Gayo  coffee. This coffee offers a date and pastry spice aroma, with raspberry, citrus, and chocolate flavor notes. This is full-bodied coffee leaves you with a winey fruit and cocoa finish. Combining these flavors offers you a deeply sensuous chocolate experience.

I hope you will enjoy these two pairings. If you try them please let us know what you think.

Milk vs. Dark

The Great debate: Milk Chocolate vs. Dark Chocolate.

These questions and more will be answered in the upcoming series of blogs. The intent of this series will be to inform you of the subtle differences that make each flavor unique. We will pair these great chocolates with other foods and beverages to enhance the chocolate’s flavor and your overall experience. I will try to describe the flavors of chocolates and their pairings to the best of my ability giving you an idea of what you can expect from each one. Some confections/flavors taste better in milk chocolate, some better in dark chocolate, I will leave you to decide.

The first chocolates up are:  The  Milk Chocolate Truffle & The Bittersweet Chocolate Truffle .

 

The Milk Chocolate Truffle consist of a simple creamy texture delivering all the sweetness you would expect from milk chocolate. It’s slightly hard outer shell encases a soft centered milk chocolate ganache. The ganache is smooth, creamy and very sweet. There are no decorations on this truffle leaving you to surmise that the beauty lies within the flavor. This chocolate is best when served with a Red Ale such as: Devils Backbone Reily’s Red Ale. This is an Irish ale has malt, toasted caramel and grain notes with a strong dose of floral and light citrus hops. This smooth malt and toasted caramel flavors add to the simplicity of the Milk Chocolate Truffle. This is a beautiful combination of flavors to enjoy while slipping into the beauty of fall.

The Bittersweet Chocolate Truffle is again simple and creamy but there is a depth to the dark chocolate that leaves you wanting another bite. The hard outer shell holds the creaminess of the ganache which is a surprisingly complex flavor delivered by dark chocolate. This truffle is bitter and at the same time sweet (hence the name?) leaving you wanting to savor the experience. This chocolate pairs well with full-bodied red wines such as a Cabernet Sauvignon, which highlight the fruity and peppery notes in the chocolate, or a Zinfandel, which brings out the chocolate’s spicy subtleties.  This pairing is perfect anytime of the year leaving you satisfied that you have had a decadent experience.

The above chocolates, beer and wines are available from various sellers, we have chosen Virginia based  businesses.

Summer Sweets: Frozen Hot Chocolate

Frozen Hot Chocolate is a recipe I have wanted make for a long time. I know that the restaurant Serendipity3 in New York has this dessert and people rave about how good it is. I thought I would give it a go with our own Cocoa Mill Chocolates.  

This was surprisingly easy to make.  I used my own homespun recipe for Hot Chocolate and then adjusted it accordingly to get the Frozen effect.  This recipe will give you something to look forward to after a long hot day.

 

What you will need for this refreshing treat:

4 cups of whole milk

3 oz Cocoa Mill Dark Chocolate

3 oz Cocoa Mill Milk Chocolate

3 oz Cocoa Mill White Chocolate

3 Tbsp granulated sugar*

3 tsp. vanilla

6 Tbsp powdered sugar*

1 pint heavy whipping cream

Chocolate shavings

You will also need, a blender and  mixer capable of whipping cream.

 

Process:

1. Warm milk in a sauce pan over low heat, (be careful not to boil the milk). When steam begins rising from the milk add your 3 types of chocolate, 1 1/2 tsp of vanilla and 3 Tbsp of granulated sugar. Continue cooking over low heat until chocolate is melted and well blended with the milk.

(1 1/2. You can stop here if you want hot chocolate, keep it in mind for those Cold winter nights.)

2. Remove from heat and let it cool in the fridge for two hours (or longer if needed).

3. Place whip cream in a bowl and add 1 1/2 tsp vanilla and 3 Tbsp of powdered sugar whip with a beater until the cream forms stiff peaks when the beater is removed. Cover and place in refrigerator.

4. In a blender pour in 2 1/2 cups of the now cold hot chocolate add a 1/2 cup of whipped cream and 3 Tbsp powdered sugar mix until blended (about 45 seconds to a minute.) 

5. Fill blender with Ice cubes until liquid has reached 5 cups. Blend until creamy.

6. Pour into a glass, top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings and have a good chocolatley evening. 

There are so many ways you could adjust this recipe, add Bailey’s Irish Creme for an adult beverage, add 3 Tbsp of coffee for a mochachino, add some caramel syrup on top of the whip cream just for an added yum. Let us know what variations you come up with!

*You can also substitute  truvia for sugars or another sweetener to decrease caloric/carbohydrate in take.

You can save the additional hot chocolate mixture for up to a week in the refrigerator.