The Wonders of Cocoa

Depending on where you live, the weather may currently be naughty or it may be nice.  Living in the Pacific Northwest of Washington state, today the weather is not so nice and the forecast is not looking good for the remainder of the week.  Wanting something sweet for desert tonight, but being hard pressed to find much due to the fact that we have not restocked our usual sweats because of a new commitment to our pre-wedding meal plans from over a year ago.  So, because of the cold and damp weather I thought a nice cup of hot cocoa would do nicely and it’s not going to crimp “the plan” (to much).

I’ve got two super duper cocoa renditions.  The first is the one I fixed for myself tonight, a quick & dirty, get the job done, fill you up if your tummy’s grumbling sure thing.  It’s the wonderful combination of cocoa, milk and Oregon Chai.  I use Nestle Rich Milk Chocolate cocoa mix.  Put about two tablespoons in the bottom of a big mug.  Fill about ¼ with hot water, and stir to combine.  Then add another ¼ of Original Oregon Chai latte concentrate and the rest with milk (I use vanilla almond milk) and give another good stir.  You may need to re-heat in the microwave for a minute or so.   It’s almost like drinking a peanut butter cup.  Pretty darn tasty!

The second version is a tad more decadent and a little more time is involved.  If you’ve never been to one of Dilettante’s Seattle locations, you must stop what you are doing and go!  Or at least visit their web site.  My first visit was when I was in college and it was an experience that forever changed my journey with cocoa.  The good thing is, you can have pretty much the same experience at home.  It starts with their totally amazing and utterly sinful Ephemere sauce.  It comes in both bitter and semi sweet.  I usually get the bittersweet.  You start by warming milk in a saucepan, then add a good amount of the sauce and whisk vigorously.  I think they may even have a cocoa recipe on the bottle.  It should taste unbelievably chocolaty, rich and smooth – dessert in liquid form.  The sauce is also phenomenal on ice cream or in mochas.

Ever since I can remember I have been soothed by the warm creamy comfort only cocoa can give.  I have fond memories of when I was in high school, coming home late (on a school night) from Nutcracker theatre rehearsal with my mother.  We’d sit up, chat about the up coming performances and drink cocoa.  Being wired from late rehearsal I was in no hurry of going to sleep.  She knew the cocoa would help to calm me down.  I also knew I could sleep in the next morning and go to school after I woke up – as was her policy when ever I was in production.  Thanks Mom!

If you are a cocoa lover, give these recipes a try and let me know how you liked them.  Also, I’d love to hear your favorite cocoa recipe.

Bon Appétit!


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