I generally don’t think of making hot chocolate, as I prefer to eat my food rather than drink it; however, the people at Equal Exchange wanted me to review their three hot cocoas and I couldn’t resist.
It’s a bit cool, windy, and lugubrious outside. A perfect day for sampling soothing drinks. First up was the 57% Drinking Chocolate. As a rule, I try not to rave about something unless it’s really exquisite. This is simply fabulous. They claim it’s like sipping a melted chocolate bar and they are right. I made mine with organic, plain soy milk from Aldi (if you have an Aldi market near you their soy milk is a great bargain and yummy). Not one to adhere to directions, I used the microwave. Frankly, if I loved it and it really required heating milk on the stove, as well as washing another pot (I already feel like a scullery maid with all the cooking I do), I’d probably never make it again. So, I disobeyed their orders and heated the milk in the nuker. Perhaps, it’s better on the stove, but I don’t see how that’s possible. It was rich, decadent, and incredibly satisfying. I thought I would just have a sip or two to write the review, but I drank it all. On a really blustery night a bit of Kahlua would be nice, too.
Their Hot Cocoa that only requires adding water was good, but more like other drinks of that ilk. Of course, the difference, and it is a salient one, is theirs uses organic milk. It had a much lighter taste and consistency than the Drinking Chocolate. A great choice when there’s no milk in the house, and children clamoring for an after school snack.
I felt like a new age Mayan from the first taste of EQ’s Spicy Hot Cocoa. In many ways, this was my favorite of the three. You make it with milk (I used the aforementioned soy) and the texture is silky smooth. Not quite as thick as the Drinking Chocolate; but, a perfect canvas for the additional flavors of chili and cinnamon. Chilis ramp up your endorphin level, enhancing one’s mood. I could feel mine improve with every sip. If you are partial to the combination of chocolate and cayenne, this is a no-brainer. Beware, though, it’s highly addictive. (I was a bit reluctant to try it as I thought it might pack too much heat, but the balance of chocolate, sweetness, peppers, and spice was sublime.)
If you need a present for that chocophile in your life, the Spicy Hot Cocoa would be just great. Think of it for that 23rd hour mad rush on Christmas Eve since it’s on most supermarket and natural food store shelves.