Sunday, January 9, 2011
Comfort Me with Cocoa
I know I’ll get back into the swing and will soon have something delicious and seasonal to post, such as an appropriately light and high-WFQ* dish to combat the effects of what I’m beginning to think of as C4 (Community Calories Consumed in the name of Christmas). Until then, however, I’ve got to get a grip and get organized, preferably with a soothing cup of steamy cocoa by my side. Everything seems to calm down a bit when warm milk is involved, and I probably don’t have to tell you about the mood magic that lightly sweetened chocolate can perform.
There are many ways to produce a cup of hot cocoa, even excluding the instant packets. I prefer a super-simple formula of one cup of milk, one tablespoon of sugar and one heaping tablespoon of cocoa powder. I typically use skim or 2% low fat milk, because those are what I usually have on hand, and I find that the rich flavor of whole milk can cancel out some of the chocolate flavor. I’ve been using an organic, fair-trade cocoa powder from Equal Exchange, but have also used other brands with good results. It stands to reason that the better the quality of the cocoa, the better the hot cocoa.
1 cup milk (I prefer skim or 2% milk)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon (heaping if desired) unsweetened cocoa powder
whipped cream or marshmallows (optional)
1. Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until hot and beginning to steam, but not to boiling. Stir occasionally to keep the milk from scorching on the bottom of the pan.