Did you know that if it weren't for the entrepreneurial spirit of the British, the whole world would have never known what chocolate bars were and would still be enjoying the magical beverage in its almost pristine form? In 1846, Joseph Fry molded the world's first chocolate bar, and that was the beginning of the sunset of the divine beverage. Even today, few people can boast of having tasted hot chocolate. A drink from a bag doesn't count! We're talking about the real drink of the gods.
The Olmecs, Maya and Aztecs used to make a sacred drink, strange by the standards of modern people, and only the elite could drink it. They made it this way: they overcooked the cocoa beans, ground them, mixed them with cold water and added hot chili peppers. It was a truly atomic mixture and not for everyone! Chocolate as we know it became popular after Europeans made some improvements: they substituted sugar for the hot chili pepper, and heated the drink to make it more soluble. And up to XIX century hot chocolate was not only a delicacy but also a medicine.
Hot chocolateBut enough of the history, because we are on a culinary website, which means we are interested in the recipes and nuances of making this divine beverage. Just let me remind you of the undeniable benefits of chocolate (in any form). Chocolate contains many different biologically active substances: vitamins A, B1, D, C and E, antioxidants, flavonoids, salts of potassium and calcium. Hot chocolate improves mood, increases vitality, increases efficiency, stimulates mental activity, improves memory, helps to cope with depression and can even be a means of preventing cardiovascular diseases. Unlike bar chocolate, hot chocolate contains less sugar - good news for slimmers!
hot chocolateAnd now for the subtleties and tricks. The most important product that you will use to make a heart and soul warming drink is chocolate. You can follow tradition and try to make real hot chocolate from ground cacao beans like the ancient Mayans, but it's much faster and easier to make it from regular chocolate bars. Chocolate should be chosen only the best quality, without fillers and all sorts of additives such as dyes, preservatives, GMOs and other chemicals. You can use regular bar dark or milk chocolate, special cooking chocolate or cocoa powder. In any case, this ingredient must be of the best quality, because it is this ingredient that gives the taste and aroma to your drink.
The liquid base of hot chocolate can be cream, milk or water. Chocolate with water is lighter, but tastes a little bland, so you need to spice it up well. Hot chocolate with milk or cream tastes better, but it also has a lot more calories. A mixture of water and milk is optimal: chocolate in such a mixture dissolves better and turns out more light and delicate.
You can add almost anything to hot chocolate. Egg yolk, sour cream or starch makes the drink thicker and the hot chocolate more filling. Alcohol and spices infuse hot chocolate with a unique flavor. Cognac, rum, liqueur, cinnamon, vanilla, ginger, cardamom, chili peppers, fruit, dried fruit and ice cream go well with chocolate. Each of these products makes your drink unique.
The method of making hot chocolate can be described in two words: "melt and stir. You have to melt the chocolate very carefully and gently, without allowing it to boil. The safest way is considered a water bath. For this, a saucepan or heat-resistant bowl with pieces of chocolate is placed in a saucepan with boiling water, and the entire structure is placed on the stove. The fire is as low as possible. Stir the chocolate with a wooden or silicone spatula until it melts. Take care not to spill any water into the chocolate, as it will simply curdle. Never overheat the chocolate! If you decide to make hot chocolate with egg yolk, make sure that the mixture doesn't boil, or all your hard work will be lost. Pour the yolk in a thin stream, stirring constantly, into the warm chocolate.
In general, nothing complicated or supernatural. Choose a recipe to your liking and try making a drink of the gods. In the winter cold, rich, flavorful hot chocolate will warm you up and fill your heart with joy.
The easiest hot chocolateThe easiest hot chocolate
Ingredients for 2 servings:
200 g of dark chocolate,
50 ml of milk.
Break the chocolate bars into pieces. Heat the milk to 50°C. Put the pan with the milk in a water bath and pour in the chocolate, a little at a time. Stir continuously until the chocolate is melted. Warm well, but do not boil! Pour into ceramic bowls and serve with a glass of cold water, as the taste of this drink is very rich.
Hot Chocolate "Aromatic" Hot Chocolate
Ingredients for 6 servings:
250g milk chocolate,
700 ml of milk