Sunday, 10 August 2008
i wanna be a chocolate god post 4: enlightenment
Sweet Jeebus. After making this, I think I'm going to become a hot chocolate activist and lobby to have this sort of thing declared "real hot chocolate" and everything else clearly labelled as "a vague suggestion of what hot chocolate might be if it were done all the way". The "just add soy milk and stir" or even "melt really good chocolate into the soy/nut milk of your choice, along with a few spices" has got nothing on the crazy elaborate preparations from the enlightenment. Drinking this sure enlightened me. Hot chocolate cobbled together from a few different 16-18th century recipes, most of which are already vegan! Yay!: For 8 people: Start with 1 batch almond/hazelnut milk (I made this in the soy milk maker). Place the milk in a pot with mortar and pestled: generous 1/2 tsp annatto, 1 heaping tsp anisseed, a scant tsp of strong cinnamon (the kind used in indian cooking), 3-5 cloves, as many candied rose petals as you want - I used about two tablespoons. Add a whole vanilla bean and an ancho chilli (deseeded), both were dried, so I just cut them into strips with scissors, since the whole mess is going to be strained later. Heat this all to a simmer, then turn it off and let it sit for a few hours (I left it for about 8 hours) This should be a) bright orange (yup, that's it in the pot, with the tomato for comparison) b) not sweet and c) kinda thin. Then, strain the whole thing into a pot, and dissolve about 150 g of good dark chocolate in it (I used 75% untempered chocolate from Valhrona) plus a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa. Sweeten to taste with agave. Drink. It will become immediately clear why this is considered an aphrodisiac. I nearly went off in my pants while drinking it.
You really do need to let the almond/hazelnut milk and spices sit for a good few hours. When I tried a little sample of it early on in the afternoon, it was quite jarring, but by the evening, all the flavours had rounded out and melded. There was a bit left, and we had it for breakfast, and I have to say that it was even better. Next time I think I'll start the hot chocolate the day before and let it steep (before the straining step) overnight. Oh, and this is not suitable for american "serving sizes". I served it in small cups, which I think amounted to just over half a cup per serving.
Just for the record, I am completely and utterly unable to understand how anyone sees being vegan as deprivation.
music of the gods for the drink of the gods: dead can dance