Historic Hot Chocolate and Excuses
Wow, so it’s been a really long time since I’ve written a blog here. To be fair, my day job consists of writing dozens of blogs for clients, as well as articles for our print publications. I spend most of my day trying to come up with brilliant topics for other people’s blogs. And then I forget that I was supposed to come up with some for myself as well. It’s not a complaint, I LOVE my job and I love that it allows me so much writing time. It just makes me a bit slack about my own writing. As a side note, before you judge any writing or grammar mistakes I make here, remember that at work, I have an editor, sometimes two. At home I just have me. Good writer, (I think) bad grammar (I know.)
You’ve probably also noticed that I have been really bad about our Instagram and Facebook accounts. It’s not that there haven’t been some great photo ops, there have. Adventures have been had. Remodeling has been done. We even spent a few weeks sleeping in the half-finished camper. Before the heating went out, the temperature got too cold, and the snow got too wet for the extension cords. The real issue is that my phone is on the fritz and I haven’t been able to replace it yet. I promise though, new year, new phone! I also promise more blog posting. If I were the type to make New Year’s Resolutions, “do more blogging” would be at the top of my list. But since I rarely resolve to do or not do anything, I’ll just make a better effort this time around. So, that’s the excuses out of the way, now let’s get on with the good stuff!
Historic Hot Chocolate
A few weeks before Christmas I wrote an article at work about the history of hot chocolate.
(You can read it here on page 13 if you’re so inclined.) Most of the research and writing I did for the piece got cut because of space constraints for the publication. If you do hop over to check it out, it’s only a couple of paragraphs. It was, however, a really fun project. Did you know for instance that hot chocolate is credited with creating the original “gentleman’s club”? Or that it was nearly banned in London. How about the fact that this simple drink has multiple battles with the catholic church under its belt? Not bad hot chocolate. Not bad at all. My favorite part of the assignment though was developing a special hot chocolate recipe just for the article. I combined some of my best culinary guesswork with some actual historical facts.
Then I spent a couple of afternoons in the kitchen at work testing the recipe on my coworkers (they all lived I swear.) Once I got it just right it was submitted for publication. I know a lot of you have been wanting to try it out, I know most of you didn’t get a copy of the paper it was published in. So, I thought I would take the time to share it for you here!
1 ½ cup of water
3 Tbsp. cocoa powder, plus more for serving
3 cups whole milk
4 oz dark chocolate, finely chopped
3 Tbsp. sugar
⅛ tsp each cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon & cloves
¼ tsp cayenne
½ tsp vanilla extract
Lightly sweetened whipped cream (for serving)
Bring water to a simmer over medium-high heat. Stir in cocoa powder until smooth. Add chocolate, sugar, vanilla, and spices. Whisk continuously until chocolate is melted and the mixture is creamy. Add milk slowly, one cup at a time stirring constantly to combine.
Divide hot chocolate among mugs. Top with whipped cream and dust with cocoa powder.
Be sure to tell us all about it when you make this recipe! As always, we love to hear from you. And, in the mean time don't forget to live your life unbound!