I love dark chocolate. Same degree as my love to coffee. It might be the bitterness. I love something bitter. Like coffee, I went on a quest to find the finest one; something that suits and fits to my taste and my tongue. It’s not easy sometimes. When I was in Saint Louis, I missed Indonesian coffee very much. I went here and there in coffee shops, and tried to find fresh ground coffee almost in every grocery store in St. Louis. I could not find one that suited on my tongue till one day. I was shopping in halal grocery store in South Grand, The Vine. The owner was a Lebanese. She told me that she had a really good ground coffee, Al-Najjar, a Lebanese coffee. She told me, “Try one. You won’t regret it… “ I tried one, and I got really addicted. That coffee tasted really strong. Like Indonesia coffee. So, I was no longer worried about finding coffee that suited to my taste.
Then, I quit caffein.
I need to find a drink that sometimes I will run into when I need to pampering myself. I have some alternatives to coffee. Chocolate and tea, for instance. Later I find chai. I’m not a tea person, though I will drink the finest one, or a cup that I could not refuse. Because it’s kinda difficult to find good tea. I only find one that suits in me: Thai green tea – one from the Royal Project.
I’d prefer hot chocolate to tea then… Back when I was in St. Louis, I drank hot chocolate only on a special occasion – like one during a snowy night. If it was not hot chocolate, I’d prefer to take red wine. 🙂 #mybad. Also, the hot chocolate was just so so because all I could find was an instant one, Swiss Miss. I did not like it too much because it was just too sweet. Coffee was my daily bread. Nothing more.
I tried to find great hot chocolate in Indonesia; Surabaya in particular. I went to different coffee shops or Italian restaurants or make it my own. But I had not find one that suited for me. I found one which was better than any places: in Antica Osteria. Other restaurants and coffee shops were just like mixing between cacao powder and milk. But, one thing was still missing. The creamy and kicking taste.
I tried to make at home; with may different mix. I googled. I found some recipes. I tried at home. But the results were still the same.
Until one night, I was (again) pampering myself in a place called “Sugarbites.” My friend and me went there one night because we wanted to try the cakes; not the hot chocolate because we did not know if they had it. But when we saw the menu, we decided to order that. I had a very long day and was pretty tired. Butttt… one sip of the hot chocolate returned my energy level.
We agreed that the hot chocolate was all good.
She told me that she has e-book on hot chocolate. She then shared the book with me. I skimmed read the book, then decided to make the next day.
The book suggested the principles things about making hot chocolate we have to keep in mind.
Use chocolate block (better with 70 percent of dark chocolate); not cacao powder. I’d been making hot chocolate by using cacao powder.
When hot chocolate is done, do not drink it right away. Let it cool, uncover (or better store in the fridge overnight), then reheat when you want to drink it. This method is used to get a creamier taste.
So, the next day, I was doing like it was suggested. But because I don’t like using cow’s milk, I use nut milks. In this case, I use almond or cashew. But in my humble opinion, cashew milk tastes better for hot chocolate rather than cashew milk because it’s creamier. In addition, cashew has less pulp than almond – as if there’s not waste when using cashew.
Because I want my hot chocolate to be frothy, I use blender to make it frothed. Aha, not bad. I really got the taste of chocolate that I wanted it.
2 small blocks of dark chocolate (70%)
1 cup of almond/cashew milk (it’s a homemade)
1 teaspoon of brown rice sugar
1 teaspoon of cacao nibs for garnish
Because I use nut milk, the prep takes longer. I usually soak almond/cashew overnight. Then blend, and strain with cheese cloth.
Mix the fresh nut milk and chocolate block with the low heat till it melt. Keep stirring, bring to boil.
Put the chocolate in the blender for the frothy look. Then let it cool, uncover. For the better taste, store in the fridge. Then, reheat when you want to enjoy your hot chocolate. I add brown rice sugar when I heat the best drink on earth. 🙂