Monday, November 26, 2012

Hot Chocolate on a Stick

Merry Christmas!

I have 2 secrets:

(1) I made these 2 years ago and never posted about them
(2) I'm actually writing this up at the end of May and it is currently 80 degrees outside.  You should be jealous.  Don't worry, I am too.

I wrote down all of the instructions on this blog after I finished making these Hot Chocolate Sticks, assuming I would get to adding pictures soon after.  It never happened.  Then today (May 20th, 2012) I noticed that there was still a draft hanging out on blogger.  So I figured, what the heck.  I love the schedule option on Blogger.

I needed something fast, cheap and easy to make for 2 dozen coworkers (this was back when I still made handmade gifts for them) and I found this great idea online to make Hot Chocolate on a Stick.  Basically, you make a chocolate lollipop and melt it in hot cream or milk, making a yummy cup of hot chocolate.  I thought I'd give it a shot.

Here's what you need:

  • a ziploc bag
  • lollipop sticks
  • an ice cube tray
  • 8 oz high quality chocolate (as you can tell, I used Ghiradelli.  Yum.)
  • 1/4 c cocoa powder
  • 1/2 c confectioner's sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • white chocolate baking morsels
  • crushed peppermint candy

Melt the chocolate:

Sift the sugar and cocoa into a small bowl and set aside.

Break the chocolate into small pieces.

Heat some water to about 90 degrees (I don't know why this exact temperature is important, but I do know that chocolate can be fickle.) Place a bowl with the chocolate over the water.  (This method works so well that I will never buy a double boiler.)

Stir until 2/3 melted.

I must show you a step-by-step of this happening.  Makes me drool a little.  Especially considering that as I am writing this I am 33 weeks pregnant.

Take bowl off of water and continue stirring until completely melted. Make sure no water gets into the chocolate mixture at all. 

Slowly stir the cocoa/sugar mix and the pinch of salt into the melted chocolate until you get a smooth consistency.  If I remember this was a lot more difficult to do than it sounded.  I had to stir for quite a long time before the consistency was right.  I also used a whisk instead of a sifter which may not have made the cocoa/sugar mix as fine as it needed to be.  Since then I have acquired a sifter.  I would recommend you do the same if you don't have one.  :)

Fill the molds with Hot Chocolate Mix.

Spoon this into a ziploc bag.  

Cut the corner off.  This is such a great way to not only fill chocolate molds, but cupcake liners as well.  EASY TO CLEAN UP!

Fill the ice cube try with the chocolate; this recipe makes about 10 cubes. Shake the tray back and forth or tap it on the counter to make the tops even out.

Let the mix form:

Leave the ice cube tray for a minute or two. Now put one stick into each cube. Hold them for a second or two; they should stay in fairly easily. Leave the tray on the counter and let them harden for a few hours. After set, they should come out easily.

Decorate the hot chocolate sticks:

This part is optional.  I decided to dip these in melted white chocolate and crushed candy cane.  I also added a candy cane and a few Christmas themed marshmallows in the bag.

Make Hot Chocolate from the stick:

Pour 3/4 c of milk or milk with cream into a mug and heat in the microwave for 1 to 1-1/2 minute. You want it warm enough to melt the chocolate.  Don't forget to include instructions for the recipient as well!

I test-tasted one of these before handing them out.  It was a very rich cup of cocoa.  I think the only thing I would have changed is I would have used a sweeter chocolate to begin with.  But I prefer sweeter chocolate over bitter chocolate.

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