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Hot Chocolate on a Stick

Posted by on Sep. 28, 2010 at 12:46 AM
  • 37 Replies

I posted this last year but am reposting it because it's starting to get chilly!


gourmet hot chocolate on a stick gift
Oh how I love when the weather turns cold enough for hot chocolate. Something about a good cup of hot chocolate makes the world feel like a gentler place.

This idea is something I’ve been wanting to try for a couple winters now. I’m glad I finally took the time to puzzle it through and do a little taste testing, because it turned out to be so simple, and the results so delightful. Stir one of these sticks into a cup of steaming milk or cream and in two minutes  you will have transformed it into a cup of rich hot chocolate, the blessed stuff. I can’t help feel that the act of stirring adds to the experience, soothing you over while building up the anticipation for that first sip.
hot chocolate on a stick gift

First things first: what chocolate to buy 
The trick to making the best hot chocolate on a stick is using good serious chocolate that melts easily. A chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa butter will do that. More cocoa butter means quicker melting. A bag of every-day chocolate chips won’t melt as fast. In fact, chocolate chips are formulated not to melt as fast, so they hold shape in your yummy cookies. You can also find fake chocolate (like a bag of Wilton’s candy melts), which uses vegetable fats instead of cocoa butter. It will melt well, but the resulting cup of hot chocolate won’t be as transcendent. And we’re going for transcendent here. The candy melts are great for coating the outside if you like, because they stay pretty and shiny even if you don’t melt them just right.

If you really want to go gourmet, use couverture , and don’t just melt your chocolate,temper it. But if you’re on a budget or can’t hunt down couverture in your area, try a bag of real-chocolate wafers made for a chocolate fountain or for fondue or a good baking chocolate bar (make sure it’s sweetened, not unsweetened). 

chocolate wafers meltable

Word of warning: no water!
There is one thing you need to know before working with chocolate if you don’t already: never let water or alcohol touch it. Not a drop. You can be stirring a potful of smooth, decadent melted chocolate, then get one drop of water in it and the whole thing will get grainy and seize up. It’s a sad experience. (If this happens to you, try Tiffany’s tip below. Or use the chocolate for a recipe like brownies or ganache that uses chocolate and liquids).

So then, if you’re planning to introduce vanilla, use a vanilla bean or vanilla paste, not vanilla extract. If you want to add food coloring, use a gel or powdered form, not the liquid stuff.
chocolate homemade candy

Hot Chocolate on a Stick
Yield: 10 cubes of hot chocolate (ice-cube-tray size)
(use 1 oz. hot chocolate on a stick per every 1 cup milk or cream)

Equipment:
Ziplock bags or piping bags
A double boiler or pan with a glass bowl that can sit over the simmering water
Some kind of chocolate mold, ice trays work great
Stir sticks or a bag of wooden craft sticks like I used 

Ingredients:
8 oz. chocolate (see note above), bittersweet, semisweet, milk, and white chocolate all work
1/4 cup cocoa, sifted
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
pinch of salt

I also have a few other special ingredients I like to add. If you take me out to lunch sometime maybe I’ll share.

6 cups milk and 2 cups heavy cream if you plan to enjoy these right away

Method

  1. If your chocolate is in a block, chop it into even-sized meltable pieces. Simmer a couple inches of water in a pan, then turn down the heat so the water is below a simmer. I like to remove the pan from the heat, but if you keep it on, keep that water below a simmer. Place glass or stainless steel bowl over the top to make a double boiler. If the bowl touches the water it’s alright, as long as your water is mildly warm, not hot. Dump chocolate into the clean, dry bowl and stir as the chocolate melts. (If you are patient and let those chunks melt slowly, keeping them from getting over 90 degrees F or 88 degrees F for milk and white chocolate, the chocolate will stay “in temper” and will still be nice and pretty when it cools.)
  2. Once the chocolate is 2/3 melted, with just some pieces of the chocolate unmelted, remove the bowl from the pan, dry the bottom with a towel and continue stirring until chocolate is fully melted. This is just one more step to keep the chocolate from getting too hot.
  3. Add cocoa, sugar, and salt and continue to stir until combined. The chocolate will be thicker, as thick as frosting, but stir on. If it looks and feels grainy it’s possible you’ve accidentally gotten a drop of water in the mixture. If it has gotten water in it and has seized up, it will still taste alright, it just won’t be as pretty or smooth or melt quite as fast.
  4. Scoop chocolate into a ziplock bag and clip off the corner.
  5. Pipe the chocolate into your chocolate mold, tapping the mold on the counter to make sure all the chocolate settles into the mold. Add a stir stick and you’re done. The stir stick should stay upright without any trouble. If the chocolate bursts through the bag in places you don’t want it to, just put the whole thing in another bag. If the chocolate starts to get too thick to squeeze, just put the whole thing in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds or so at half power.
  6. Let the chocolate cool either at room temperature or in the fridge if you’re in a hurry. I find the chocolate pops out of the mold nicely if it’s been in the fridge. It’s okay to cool chocolate in the fridge, just don’t store it there, because chocolate soaks up the odors of other foods pretty quickly.
  7. If you don’t like the look of the chocolate once it is removed from the mold, you can dip the cubes into a new batch of plain melted chocolate for a shinier finish (again, try to keep chocolate from heating over 90 degrees, or use candy melts, which don’t need to be in temper, they will stay shiny and pretty even if you go above 90 degrees). This also lets you add sprinkles or crushed candy or just lets you dip in fun patterns. I like dipping at an angle into a different color of chocolate.
  8. In order to enjoy these, heat up any combo of milk, water, half and half, or cream. I like 6 cups milk with 2 cups heavy cream. One ounce of chocolate on a stick should be melted into one cup milk or cream. So a standard ice cube-tray block, which is 3/4 an ounce, should be melted into a mug with 3/4 cup milk or cream in it.

Troubleshooting: A few of you have had trouble with your chocolate seizing. Tiffany provided this great note  to help out (thanks, Tiffany!), “if the chocolate begins to seize (since for some reason, both of my batches seized, I’m thinking it’s the humidity in the air where I am) you do not have to throw it out. Just put the bowl back over the hot water and add a little bit of vegetable oil (I used somewhere between a tsp and a tbsp) after stirring over a little heat, the chocolate will get smooth again. Also good to note, chocolate can seize if you add any cold ingredients.”

How to store it: Dark chocolate will keep in an airtight container for up to a year, milk and white chocolate for several months. Remember, don’t keep it in the fridge because it is really good at absorbing odors.
hot chocolate on a stick3

cinnamon hot chocolate

Variations: Try adding a pinch of your favorite spice. We tried adding a little extra punch by lining the outside with red hots. Very fun. You can also leave out the cocoa and sugar all together and replace it with 8 servings of your favorite packaged hot cocoa. Have you ever had so much fun? I love playing with chocolate.
mold

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hot chocolate on a stick 2

joget

   TUTUS ROCK

by on Sep. 28, 2010 at 12:46 AM
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Replies (1-10):
chloesmom637
by on Sep. 28, 2010 at 12:48 AM

i live in south florida so it dosent get that cold but i will try it ..... they make great gifts!!!

bayliesmommy
by Ruby Member on Sep. 28, 2010 at 12:54 AM
Awesome! Man i wish i had a damn computer to save all these!
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
chris-t-lynn
by on Sep. 28, 2010 at 12:54 AM

BUMP!

LCG83
by on Sep. 28, 2010 at 12:56 AM
Very very cool!!!!! I need to write this all down!
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
sherri8806
by Silver Member on Sep. 28, 2010 at 1:01 AM
OMG I think Im in love with you right now lol. Thanks I cant wait to experiment now!
Aislin
by Gold Member on Sep. 28, 2010 at 1:06 AM

BUMP!

serjil
by on Sep. 28, 2010 at 1:09 AM

This seems like a lot of preparation, but it looks and sounds so good I think I'm going to have to try it. 

valkay
by Silver Member on Sep. 28, 2010 at 1:10 AM

 yummy

SareyF
by on Sep. 28, 2010 at 1:11 AM
Yuuuummmmmmm
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