Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Drinking Chocolate - for Serious Chocolate-lovers Only

A few summers ago, we were on vacation in Madrid and stopped into a chocolateria that specialized in churros. These foot-long, served hot, crispy churros (yumm, I’m all the sudden hungry) came with a small cup of melted chocolate.  My kids and I debated on whether we were supposed to drink the chocolate, because it was served in a little coffee cup, or dip the churros in it, because it was thicker than any hot chocolate we’d had before. We decided on both, because it was delicious either way and we were determined not to leave a drop behind.

Spanish churros and hot chocolate
Chocolateria in Madrid

Fast forward to this summer when I came across European Drinking Chocolate from Sipping Dreams.  Loaded down with books, it was a tasty little surprise to find Tom and Clover passing out samples of this liquid chocolate in the middle of Book Expo America.

Their European Drinking Chocolate is reminiscent of the Spanish drinking chocolate from that Madrid side-street café.  In the convenience of our own home in a few minutes, we made a little cup of decadence.  The chocolate comes in a solid bar, scored into 4 sections; each section makes a 3-oz. serving.  You can make the whole bar and refrigerate any that happens to be left over; I only made one square and saved the others so that I could make another fresh cup at another time.

It was this easy:  
The chocolate comes in a solid bar, scored into 4 squares. 1 square = 1 3-oz. serving.
Heat 1 square and 1/4 cup of milk over medium heat until chocolate is melted & bubbly. Whisk constantly to make it smooth.
Serve drinking chocolate with your favorite dessert and enjoy.
You don’t need to add sugar (and I like things sweet), it’s delicious as is. This drinking chocolate is just the right consistency to either drink or dip.  I paired it with coffee for a great mocha.  My daughter tried it with marshmallows and strawberry. Both tasted good.  And then on the company’s site, I found this recipe for an Italian Cappuccino – the chocolate mixed with instant espresso and then with crème de cacoa, Grand Marnier, Amaretto, Kahlua, vanilla, and Brandy – how could you go wrong with that?

Now, let me warn you: this is not for chocolate amateurs. You have to like chocolate to like drinking chocolate.  This is not “hot cocoa” like you give your kids after a snow-y day; or perhaps you’re kids are really lucky and it is. Drinking chocolate is thick and it’s thick – no Swiss Miss here. And don’t try to cut calories by using skim milk or soy milk or water – you’d be missing the whole point. This is for serious chocolate lovers only.

The chocolates are hand-made in a family-run shop out in Oregon and are available for purchase in stores out that way or on-line for the rest of us.

Thanks to Tom & Clover for giving me a box to enjoy at home!

As an alternative - if you'd like a drink in chocolate, check out this chocolate shot glass I had on a wine tour.

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