If there’s anything I love more than receiving foodie gifts, it’s giving them. One of my best friends from high school S was leaving the sunny shores of Sydney for the rainy ones of London to study music (and become a famous violinist) so I tried to think of an appropriate going away gift for her.
I knew she loved chocolate and I know on those cold, gloomy days, nothing cheers me up more than a steaming mug of hot chocolate. So after doing some research on the internet about how to make a hot chocolate able to be transported internationally, I came across this brilliant idea on the Giver’s Log – hot chocolate on a stick.
It was easy and simple to make – the key to getting a luscious, chocolatey hot chocolate is making sure you use good quality ingredients. This means using real chocolate that is high in cocoa butter and using good quality cocoa powder. The hardest part of this recipe was melting the chocolate at a low enough temperature to keep it ‘in temper'; it’s tempting to want to crank up the heat to melt it quicker but a bit of patience will give you smooth, shiny chocolate.
I made my hot chocolates on a stick in the shape of strawberries and penguins thanks to the silicon ice cube moulds that I received from Billy, Karen and Steph for my birthday earlier this year. I couldn’t resist trying one and it was great – the chocolate melted nicely in the hot milk and it tasted like real chocolate, not that overly sweet powdered stuff. Since I used dark chocolate and S likes it sweet, I dipped some of them in white chocolate as well to make it a bit sweeter and wrapped them up individually for her to take to the UK. Hope you like them S!
Hot Chocolate on a Stick
recipe adapted from the Giver’s Log
250g good quality chocolate (I used 70% dark chocolate)
42g (1/4 cup) cocoa powder, sifted
64g (1/2 cup) icing sugar, sifted
1. Bring a small pot of water to a simmer, and place a glass or stainless steel bowl on top to make a double boiler. Melt chocolate over the double boiler until 2/3 melted, then take the bowl of chocolate off and stir to melt the remaining pieces. It is important that you don’t get any water in the chocolate otherwise it will ‘seize’. If you want the chocolate to stay ‘in temper’, use a thermometer and do not let the temperature rise above 32ºC.
2. Once the chocolate is melted, sift the cocoa powder and icing sugar into the chocolate and stir. The mixture will become very thick but keep stirring until it becomes shiny again and there are no more visible bits of cocoa or sugar. If the mixture is way too thick to handle then you can put it back onto the pot of hot water to loosen it up a bit.
3. Using two teaspoons or a piping bag, place the chocolate mixture into your moulds, making sure you don’t overfill them. The mixture is sticky so it may be difficult to smooth out the top – try rapping the mould onto the countertop a few times. Stick the paddle pop into the chocolate (it should stay up by itself) and allow the chocolate to cool at room temperature. Dip in more chocolate or chocolate melts if desired, or enjoy by stirring the stick in a mug of hot milk.