Thursday, December 13, 2012

{ Homemade Cocoas! }



Today I present to you, cocoa.

When the Bean was little, he'd run outside and play in the snow for all of about 10 minutes. That's all his asthma would allow. In the length of time though, I'd whip him up some amazing place and bake cookies & cocoa from a box. He'd sit down, rosy cheeked and tingly & eat the cookies warm from the oven & drink his hot chocolate happily.

Half of the time I think he'd go out in the snow JUST so he'd get the treats when he came in.
Dirty trickster.

How times have changed though. He no longer runs out to play in the snow. Sad.
However, I no longer make place and bake cookies, so that's a plus! 

I won't say I never make cocoa from an envelope anymore, because that would be a total untruth, but, when it's time for something truly decadent, homemade cocoa is the way to go.

While I have my own Homemade Cocoa recipe here on the blog, I'm using another's today.

I'm starting off with Darla's hubby's cocoa. Darla, as I'm sure you know by now, is the baking genius behind Bakingdom. She's also my mental twinsie, I'm not sure if that is good or bad. Haha.

I'm starting off with his cocoa, actually, but I'm just making 1 cuppa. His recipe makes 4.

Then, I'll make some Snowfall Cocoa... as in White Chocolate Cocoa.

And then, I'll make some Candy Cane Syrup to add to the cocoas, so you can have Candy Cane Cocoa.

I have a lot to type.

I'd better start.


Homemade Hot Cocoa

recipe makes 1 cup (easily adjusted to make larger quantities)

1 cup milk (or 3/4 cup milk, 1/4 cup heavy cream or half and half)
1 heaping tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 heaping tablespoon sugar *
1 scant tablespoon semisweet chocolate chips 
1/4 teaspoon vanilla (or other extract of your choice)


Use 1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar if using a flavored syrup like the Candy Cane Syrup below

Pour milk, and half and half or cream, if using, in a bowl and warm in the microwave for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes (optional).

Transfer milk to small saucepan over medium heat and whisk in cocoa, chocolate chips, sugar, and vanilla.  Continue cooking over medium heat, whisking almost constantly, until it just barely begins to lightly boil, about 10 minutes; remove from heat.

Pour into a mug, throw in some marshmallows, or plop on some whipped cream and sprinkles!

Or make a little Mallow Man, like this

He is simply 3 mini marshmallows on a swizzle stick. His eyes, mouth, and buttons are drawn on with an Americolor Food Writer. You could also just dot on some melted chocolate. His nose is an orange jimmie that I just poked into the mallow, and his hat is a gumdrop that I squished with my fingers. 'Glue' it on with a little melted chocolate.

Now, some Snowfall Cocoa (white chocolate cocoa), you say?

Snowfall Cocoa

1 cup milk (or 3/4 cup milk, 1/4 cup heavy cream or half and half)
2 Tablespoons white chocolate chips
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

*White chocolate is very sweet. I, personally, don't think you need any extra sugar, but feel free to use some if you wish.

Heat your milk over medium heat, whisk in your chips & vanilla. Whisk constantly, until it comes to a very light boil. Remove from heat.


 


Pour into a mug and top with whipped cream & sprinkles!



Or............

Make a Mallow Man like this!

He is 2 large marshmallows on a toothpick.

His eyes and mouth are, again, an Americolor Food Writer, but his nose is orange chocolate.

This is actually quite sweet, as I said, and not really to my personal taste, but the Bean LOVES it,
so I had to include it in my post.

Plus Marshy Man #2 had to be seen, right?


But, to get you in the Holiday Spirit a little more, wouldn't you like a little Candy Cane Cocoa?

Ok!

This is a true Candy Cane Cocoa, not just Peppermint.

First we will make a Candy Cane Syrup.

Candy Cane Syrup
recipe adapted from Chica & Jo

2 Candy Canes
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup water


Crush 2 candy canes very finely. Power fine.



To a heavy pan add, 1/2 cup sugar & 1/4 cup water. Over medium heat, whisk this together, then add in your crushed candy cane.


Allow your candy cane to melt, but do not let your syrup boil. If it boils, it will become too thick.

When finished, your syrup will look like this, kind of a cloudy pink.


 Skim off the frothy stuff at the top & fish out any unmelted candy cane.

When it cools it will be a bright red.


Now, you have a Candy Cane syrup to add to your cocoas.

Stir in a bit!

I suggest 1-2 Tablespoons per cup of chocolate & 1 Tablespoon for the Snowfall Cocoa.

Do not add vanilla extract if you are adding the Candy Cane Syrup.

You can also use this syrup in lattes, or maybe poured over vanilla ice cream!

I'm sure you can think of other great ideas!

You can make this in larger quantities as well. Simple syrups like this, and my Homemade Pancake Syrup, just use a 2 parts sugar to 1 part water ratio.

But...

it's Christmas & maybe you aren't the mint and chocolate kinda person (are there people out there like that? Really??).

What about some Gingerbread Cocoa??

Yeah? Yeah.

Head over and see Darla. She, too, is starting with her hub's cocoa as a base and making something truly delish!

You won't want to miss this!


Happy Christmas!

Tina


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