Saturday, December 26, 2009

Paleo Notes on Chocolate

By Diana Hsieh

A few weeks ago, I posted the following notes on chocolate and dairy to OEvolve. As some of them might be of interest, here they are, with some editing:

  • To make unsweetened chocolate milk, just add pure cocoa powder to milk. (You might need to whisk or blend it, as it might not dissolve easily.) That's how I make my hot cocoa -- with just milk and cocoa powder. I find that the milk is sweet enough for me. (In years past, hot cocoa was just a delivery device for marshmallows. Ugh.)

  • The flourless chocolate cake I made for Thanksgiving -- using the Cook's Illustrated recipe -- was fantastic. I used a pound-bar of 70% dark chocolate from Trader Joe's (obtained when I was in California). Other than that, the cake contains only 1/2 pound of butter and eight eggs. You can also add 1/4 cup of liquor or strong coffee. It's super-rich, so a small slice is almost too much. Topped with whipped cream -- no sugar necessary -- it's heavenly!

  • Regarding cream, I recently discovered that Costco sells a very thick whipping cream in 1/2 gallon jugs. All whipping cream in my regular grocery stores is ultra-pasteurized, whereas this cream is merely pasteurized. When I opened it, the top had the nice crust of the super-dense cream that I often find in my raw milk. It tastes great -- much better than any of the ultra-pasteurized cream I've been buying. And it whips up wonderfully, also better than ultra-pasteurized cream. So that cream from Costco is now my backup cream for when I don't have enough raw cream.

  • I accidentally made my own chocolate mouse some months ago. I started with a few spoonfuls of cocoa powder in a small bowl, and I gradually added a bit of cream, then whisked until well-blended, then added more cream, and whisked more, and so on. I was trying to make chocolate sauce for some fruit, as Ari Armstrong does with cocoa powder and water. I was baffled by the fact that the cream just seemed to be continuously absorbed by the cocoa. But I continued. Ultimately, I ended up with a really excellent mousse.
I love chocolate!

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