23 November 2007

Gluten Free Tips (2): Hot Chocolate

Have you ever read the ingredients on those hot cocoa packets they sell in stores? Try it sometime. The vast majority of them are more chemical than cocoa, and with all those ingredients, there's a good chance of cross-contamination...not to mention that most of them have mono- and di-glycerides in them (can be made from wheat), and unnamed modified food starch.

However, it is surprisingly easy to make hot cocoa. All you need are cocoa, sugar and milk. The basic recipe I found suggested twice as much sugar as cocoa; I prefer equal amounts. You'll probably have to experiment a bit to find the right ratio for you. A good way to start, though, is to put

1 t cocoa
2 t sugar

in the bottom of a microwavable mug. Stir the powders together, then fill the mug the rest of the way with milk (I use goat's milk), and put in the microwave. The time will depend on your microwave; for a 1.5 cup mug in my microwave, it takes 2:35. Much more than that and it boils over. Also, I prefer my cocoa stronger than what I listed above; that's just a good starting point. In the same 1.5 cup mug, I would put 1 T cocoa and 1 T sugar, roughly.

Of course, this recipe won't work so well camping, or if you're out of fresh milk. You need some sort of instant powdered milk. Again, I use goat's milk. At home, put the correct amount of dry milk (read the label) in with the cocoa and sugar, mix, and pour boiling water over it. I'll give you my camping recipe, though if you prefer weaker cocoa, you'll probably want to cut down the amount of cocoa:

2 cups instant dry goat's milk
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup sugar

For a 1 cup serving, use 4 T = 1/4 cup of the mix. Looks like a lot in the cup, but that gives you enough milk powder that it won't be watery. For a 1.5 cup serving, use 6 T, etc. Then pour boiling water over it.

Note: this uses 4 times as much milk powder as the other two ingredients. The ratio may be different for dry cow's milk; I don't know, as I don't use it. But it takes 1/4 c = 4 T of the goat's milk powder to make a single serving.

These amounts are all rough approximations. If you want it more watery, use less milk powder. If my mix isn't sweet enough for you, add more sugar, etc. But it's nice to have a definite starting point so that then you can fiddle with it if it's not to your taste.

GF Tips Index

No comments: