It has been years since I made Cocoa (Hot Chocolate) from scratch. I usually open a packet of instant hot chocolate or stop by a coffee shop for a more decadent hot chocolate. Since I still have cookies left from yesterday it seemed fitting to have them with Cocoa (p. 264) following a recipe from the Beverage section of the 1906 Berlin Cook Book. This recipe doesn’t include the name of a contributor but the writer was very determined to change the way people prepare cocoa.
I put a cup of milk in a saucepan and sprinkled the cocoa on top. I heated it and stirred when it started to warm up. I let it simmer rather than boil a little and took it off the heat. I added some sugar, stirred and took a sip of a good cup of cocoa. I discovered I barely needed any sugar this way. I used about a 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and probably could have used less. The chocolate taste is more subtle but it does taste of chocolate.
Comparing the recipe in the cook book with the one on my Fry’s Cocoa package I noticed that the amounts and technique are very different. The quantity of cocoa powder for one cup of milk varies from 2 tablespoons on the cocoa package to 1/2 teaspoon in the cook book. Fry’s uses the method of mixing cocoa, sugar, and a little cold milk before adding to hot milk.
It might be worth going back to the old way of making cocoa. The method described in the cook book is easier than premixing and there’s no need to wash another bowl. It is just as fast as making it from a packet and I have much more control over the amount of sugar and chocolate.
The secret of preparing a cup of cocoa, that shall be really good lies in adding merely sufficient of the powder, no more as too much will render taste somewhat bitter. 1/2 teaspoon of cocoa to a cup is about right, though in some brands of the article even less is required. It is totally unneccessary[sic] to first mix the cocoa with a little water or milk, as so many are in habit of doing. After you have set the milk upon stove, sprinkle the cocoa on top of the milk, as soon as the latter is lukewarm stir in the cocoa, which will dissolve immediately. It will not mix in a cold medium and will lump in milk that is too hot. Boiling for a few minutes improves it; sweeten to taste.