Wednesday, 23 January 2019

What We Ate Wednesday--Hot Cocoa Mix

Hello lovelies! It's cold weather here (maybe where you are too?)  and it makes me want a cosy cup of hot cocoa in the evening. I do love a hot chocolate. It warms me up, fulfils my sweet tooth and gives me a burst of cocoa which is apparently GOOD FOR YOU.

I grew up drinking mixes that you just added water to. They were made with powered (icing) sugar, cocoa powder and cheap powdered milk. They tasted horrible, but all you had to do was add boiling water and they were ready. The nice kind is the slow kind--you know the kind you add plant based milk and heat it slowly on the hob. You lose the speed of instant, but you gain more flavour.

We decided to buy some.  It took ages to find one at the supermarket that wasn't full of non vegan ingredients like whey or palm oil or other weird fillers.

We found one that was decent--Tesco Drinking Chocolate. It cost £1.95 for 400g (about 2 cups). The ingredients were sugar, cocoa powder (25%), maltodextrin, salt, flavouring. It tasted alright. Better than just add water instant crap, but still had a whiff of artificial. Plus one container made about 12 cups of cocoa and since there are two of us, that makes 6 days worth of cocoa. And you have a container that didn't appear to be recyclable at the end of a week.

As usual, I was sure I could make one that was better and cheaper with less waste.

I started looking at recipe mixes online. There were several that called for cornstarch which sounded suspiciously like maltodextrin. Many recipes called for powdered icing sugar which smacked of those nasty ones from my childhood.

Finally I found it at WICKED KITCHEN. One that had three ingredients and none of them weird. It had options for a 2 cup mix, a 4 cup mix and an 8 cup mix. I decided to make the 2 cup mix to try it out and then if we liked it, I'd make the big batch.

Oh, we like it.

Wicked Kitchen makes it with a mix of white sugar and light brown sugar. If you want to do that, then click HERE and follow her recipe. I used demerara sugar for it all and it gives it a really rich caramel flavour.

You make each batch--no matter how big or small--the same way. Blend the sugar in your blender until it is powdered, pour it in a bowl and combine it with the sifted cocoa powder and salt until well mixed and then transfer into an airtight container. Don't leave out the salt--it enhances the sweetness. Trust your Auntie Spidergrrl on this.

Image result for hot cocoa illustration free public domain
Hot Cocoa Mix--2 cup mix (makes 12 cups of cocoa)
1 1/4 cups demerara sugar whizzed into powder in a blender
3/4 cup sifted unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 tsp salt

Hot Cocoa Mix--4 cup mix (makes 24 cups of cocoa) 
2.5 cups demerara sugar whizzed into powder in a blender
1.5  cups sifted unsweetened cocoa powder
1.5  tsp salt

Hot Cocoa Mix--8 cup mix (makes 48 cups of cocoa) 
1 kg (5 cups)  demerara sugar whizzed into powder in a blender
3 cups sifted unsweetened cocoa powder
1 TB salt

How to make according to Amazing Spiderman who is the chief cocoa maker in our household:
1.Gently heat 1 cup (250ml) plant based milk per person--we dig almond milk--on the hob or in the microwave if you have one. we don't so, it's hob for us. .
2. Put 2 TB of mix in a mug and when the milk is hot but not boiling add it to the mug and stir well to mix it up. That's it. Some people do that thing where you add a splash of cold milk to the mug to make a paste with the dry mix and then add your hot non dairy milk. He says he can't be bothered to do that. All I can say, his cocoa tastes amazing, so I think you can skip that step.

I costed it up for an 8 cup mix based on ingredients I bought at Lidl.

1 kg demerara sugar £1.35
1.5 boxes of cocoa power--£1.29 + .65 = £1.94
Total £3.29 

That's makes 96 TB. Since you use 2 TB for every cup that's 48 cups of cocoa. 

The almond milk we like costs £1 for a litre, so 25p a cup.

Look at that. For the price of one cup at Caffe Nero I could make 48 at home.

I know which one we'll be drinking throughout the winter.

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