Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sipping Sundays: flavour your hot or cold chocolate beverage without any effort

Want to whip up a spicy hot chocolate but don't want to try to come up with a recipe? Use a flavoured chocolate bar to make a great hot (or cold) chocolate treat!

I was bored this morning and thought, why don't I go through my chocolate cabinet and see what's in there? So I found three interesting chocolate bars: an unopened  Lindt Excellence Chili Dark chocolate bar, the remains of a Cote D'Or Lemon Ginger bar, and some leftover Manitoulin Chocolate Works Citrus & Spice chocolate (see previous post for more info on these chocolate bars).  These three flavours seemed perfect as hot chocolate flavours, so I immediately started heating up some milk.

For each of the three hot chocolates, I heated one cup of milk in a saucepan and poured it over 40 grams (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 ounces) of solid chocolate.  In order to get it to mix well, start by pouring just a little bit of the hot milk over the chocolate and mix until smooth, then add the remaining milk to your cup.

The Lindt Chili bar is quite spicy, and not very sweet, when you taste it on its own. I like to think of it as less like a dessert or sweet treat, and more like an appetizer because of its spicy profile.  When melted into milk, it makes for a mildly spicy but robust hot chocolate.

The Manitoulin Chocolate Works Ginger bar made a full-bodied and mildy ginger hot chocolate.  For a wintery day in April (yes, it is really snowing here today), it made a perfect winter Sipping Sunday treat. The Cote D'Or Lemon Ginger hot chocolate had mild ginger undertones and a clear lemon flavour.  The bits of crunchy lemon that are in the chocolate bar do not melt immediately, which adds a nice textural element to the hot chocolate.

After tasting each hot chocolate, I put all three cups in the fridge. When they had cooled, I iced each drink and tried them all cold, topped with whipped cream and a straw. The best was the Citrus & Spice, made with Manitoulin Chocolate Works Lemon & Orange Peel with Ginger bar.  It had a smooth mild flavour and was really nice as a cold chocolate beverage.  The other two drinks had not stayed as smooth, with pieces of chocolate and cocoa butter reforming in the drink when they were chilled. But served with a spoon for eating the whipped cream, all three drinks made for a fun way to enjoy some leftover flavoured chocolate.

So if you, like me, are snowed in today and you need a warm pick-me-up, or even if you live somewhere hot and sunny, I hope I've given you new ideas for enjoying your leftover chocolate on a Sunday afternoon!

Here are the package details for the Lindt Chili Dark Chocolate Bar that I tasted today:

Lindt Excellence Chili Dark, "Dark chocolate infused with red chili", 100 g
Manufactured by Lindt & Sprungli AG
Ingredients: sugar, cocoa mass, cocoa butter, milk ingredients, soya lecithin, chili extract, artificial flavour. May contain traces of peanuts, hazelnuts and almonds.

For ingredients and further details on the the other two chocolate bars (Cote D'Or Lemon Ginger and Manitoulin Chocolate Works Citrus & Spice), click here.

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