Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Cocoa Tea (Grenadian Spiced Hot Chocolate)- Mother Nature's Gift
Unfortunately, I prepared them the wrong way and didn't get to experience the real deal. My mistake was dumping a ball straight into a microwaved mug of hot water. I ended up with a mug full of lukewarm water filled with cocoa gunk, unpleasant cocoa gunk that had no sweetness to it at all. I decided to cover up the mess with sugar and milk. This always makes things better right? This time, unfortunately not hahaha. I immediately gave the failed drink to my husband Brian... that's what husbands are for right hahaha...poor guy.
The next day, I looked at the remaining 5 balls and moved them straight to the trash can. I gave the lady who sold them to me a tisk tisk tisk because she hyped these balls up so much, only to fail. Turned out, I was the one who failed... I didn't prepare them the right way.
During a trip with the SO group to a cocoa factory, I got to experienced these balls in a different light- a magical light. It was heaven. Rich in texture and taste, fragrant, complex, and just yummy... everything my chocolate was not. I sought out to try again, but this time around, using a different technique.
The second time around, I was quite happy with the results. The cocoa came out pretty close to the one I tasted from the factory, not exact, but just as satisfying. Instead of just dumping in a ball into microwaved water, I dissolved the cocoa balls into a pot of boiling water on the stove top. Once dissolved, I stirred for 4 minutes longer (medium high heat), waiting for the natural fats to separate from the cocoa and surface. Next, I added in milk, sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon and cooked for 2 minutes more on high heat, allowing for the spices and sugars to infuse. This also helps allow for the milk to create a rich texture. Once Cocoa is done, strain into a mug.
*make a big batch (this recipe x 4) and store it in the refrigerator. The flavors will further infuse and you'll have chocolate milk on hand when you get random cravings.
*Try jazzing up this cocoa with your favorite flavors (add peanut butter, caramel syrup, vanilla or banana extract, etc.) Add 1/2tsp instant coffee to one cup of cocoa to make it into a Mocha.
Drinking hot chocolate will never be the same again. Where have you been all my life cocoa balls?
1 Serving; 5-8 min.
1 Cocoa Ball
1 Cup Water
splash vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tbsp white sugar (or to taste)
1/2- 3/4 cups milk (I used 2% boxed milk)
(for a richer cocoa tea, shave some of your favorite chocolate right in and use evaporated milk, condensed milk, or heavy cream!)
Directions (read last paragraph above picture)
*Click HERE for a cooking dictionary.