Saturday, October 18, 2014

One Ingredient Challenge: Cocoa

Part of an ongoing series of cooking from scratch. That is, we cook something from basic items that don't have multiple ingredients (e.g. store-bought spaghetti sauce includes all sorts of spices and maybe other stuff too; we'd start with tomatoes and individual spices and add them together to make our own sauce). See other challenges here.

L has learned to love those instant breakfast drinks where you just stir the packet of powder into a glass of milk and there's a yummy snack for you. The makers load it up with vitamins to make it healthy but we already have her on a children's multivitamin, so it's probably redundant except for the calcium boost.

Make the Bread, Buy the Butter to the rescue! The book has a recipe for cocoa mix that's cheaper than even regular hot chocolate mix like Swiss Miss or Carnation. The recipe is simple--one and a half cups dark brown sugar, one cup cocoa powder, and two teaspoons of kosher salt. Just sift all the ingredients into a bowl. If any of the sugar or salt doesn't make it through the sifter, throw it in the bowl and whisk vigorously. L was happy to make her own powder.

The ingredients already mixed!

Our first experiment was with cold milk. The book says to mix two tablespoons of powder per cup of milk. It was a total failure. The powder didn't mix into the milk and L really didn't like it.

Cold fusion doesn't work

Our next experiment was with hot milk since that is what the book really says.

Much better mixing

L tried it and didn't like it. She said it wasn't like the instant breakfast. The book recommends adding a quarter teaspoon of vanilla for flavor but L could not be convinced to try it. I tried the hot chocolate and found it tasty but not very sweet. I'd gladly drink it as hot chocolate, and I suppose I will have to since L won't.

The face of underwhelment

We also tried mixing in some powdered milk and that has converted L into a cocoa drinker.

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