mercredi 14 novembre 2007

Murphy's Extreme Cocoa

It was cold and rainy, my back was killing me (too many hours in various very unergonomic chairs), my eyes were a bit blurry (too many hours reading fine prints) and my brain was in another dimension (too many hours of political philosophy). I had my excuse to take a wee break and make one of the recipes in need of a tester/taster, over at Ice Cream Ireland. I settled for the weather-appropriate Extreme Cocoa (Chocolat chaud extrême).

125 g cocoa (unsweetened)
225 gm sugar (175gm)
800 ml milk
1 tsp. natural vanilla essence

1. Mix the cocoa and sugar.
2. Add the milk in small parts, stirring to create a paste, then diluting the paste until the milk and cocoa mix are combined. Add the vanilla essence.
3. Pour into a saucepan and place the over medium heat, stirring all the time until it reaches 60-65C.
4. Garnish with grated chocolate and/or whipped cream and enjoy!
Six servings.

Notes from the creator:
1. If you find it too strong, you can always dilute it with more milk, but then again if you do find it too strong, this is probably the wrong recipe for you!
2. The amount of sugar will vary depending on the chocolate. Obviously you can add more if you want it sweeter.

3. You can freeze any excess and thaw it later when you want to drink it…

Notes from me:
1. I have issues with 'cocoa' powder here in NZ - more often than not the only available one in grocery stores is Cadbury's, which contains all sorts of strange things beside cocoa. A few months ago I discovered the organic cocoa powder from Piko Wholefoods*. Cheaper than even the bad Cadbury (NZ$3,50/500g) and much, much better, although it isn't quite as strong as Fry's (in Canada) or Valrhona cocoa powder. I suspect this might be why the final result wasn't exactly... extreme.
2. I like my chocolate, and my cocoa (chocolat chaud), dark and on the bitter side of bitter-sweet. The Extreme Cocoa was much too sweet for me. I added milk and cocoa powder to compensate, but I would recommend cutting down on the sugar from the beginning. It's easier to add some later if it's too bitter for you.
3. With a bit more cocoa and a bit less sugar to it, this was fantastic. The vanilla essence gives it a little-something-more, it is rich and thick and with a little whipped cream on top, oh! so very comforting.
I used the nice wine glass for the picture, but ultimately enjoyed a less reasonable portion...
4. A week later, it's survived two freeze-&-thaw episodes and is still just as delicious!

* Piko is a wholefoods & organic products co-operative. They have some high-end products, but their focus is on good quality, affordable foodstuff. They are my maple syrup dealers, with what is probably the most affordable real maple syrup in the country - and it's organic, too! click here for a history of the gorgeous building they're in and of the co-op itself.

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