Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cocoa Tea (Grenadian Spiced Hot Chocolate)- Mother Nature's Gift

When I first arrived to the island, Grenadian cocoa balls were one of the first items that screamed out to me to take them home.  I read the list of ingredients on the non commercial plastic wrap they were contained in:  Cocoa, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, and Bay Leaf?  That's a first, I thought, having spices infused in hot chocolate.  Me being a firm believer of the health benefits of cocoa and spices, all while having great taste, I quickly snatched these guys away and took them home with me.

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.

DIRECTIONS:
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.
INGREDIENTS:
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.

9 comments:

  1. We made some last night! I always add marshmallows on top and sometimes Hersey's syrup drizzle. The banana extract is a great idea and I'll have to try that next time!

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  2. MmMMMM you make me want to put marshmallows on everything.... ooo and Gushers too! hahha. I'm going to toss some leftover Thanksgiving marshmallows in my next batch!!

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  3. Try adding grenadian nutmeg syrup instead of sugar. Delicious if you don't have such a sweet tooth.

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    1. Oooooh Great suggestion! I will be sure to try it out. Can't have enough nutmeg flavor going on right?!? hahaha

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  4. This looks yummy! I'm going to share it on my blog! also check out my recipe for a Granada Cocoa Milkshake/Smoothie, http://www.emilyclairelifestyle.com/low-calorie-chocolate-milkshake/

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  5. Could you use coconut milk in this recipe rather than cow's milk?

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  6. Do I have to open the cocoa ball from its shell before using??

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  7. Thank you. GROWING up in the islands I had this as a child but forgot how to make it. THanks. Enjoying a cup right now after 25 years away from home.

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  8. I get my cocoa balls and all my spices for this recipe here http://shopdcaribbean.com/

    Add some NUTMEG!

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