I recently returned from 6 months in Paris, spending a great deal of time with the chocolate and pastry kings. Whether I was talking with Jacques Genin about his work, nudging Pierre Cluizel to try some new ideas at his new chocolate concept store, or just enjoying some Jean-Paul Hvin pieces, the one thing in the back of my mind was . . . their hot chocolate.
They each do great things with their chocolat chaud, but Im possessed with the idea that they havent spent enough time on decadent blends and the science behind what goes into the cup. So Im hoping The Chocolate Life brain trust can offer some insights. Any thoughts you have on the below would be greatly appreciated!
Preface: Im using a blend of bars, in non-equal proportions, as the basis for the hot chocolate Domori Porelana, Amedei Grenada, Cluizel Maralumi Lait, Pralus Ghana, and Bonnat Chuao
- Ive nailed down the by-weight ratio of liquids to chocolate to about 2:1. While most recipes use a blend of milk and cream, Im obviously using such pricey bars that I want to incorporate as little perceptible milk fat/protein as possible. So, within the liquids, Im using 3 parts whole milk to 1 part water. With constant agitation, I can get the serving temp to about 130 degrees before the emulsion starts to break down and cacao solids come out a bit. Id like to use even less milk and more water, but then the emulsion breaks at lower temps. Any tricks/advice?
- Regardless of the milk quantity, Im trying to be very sensitive to the milks ultimate temperature. Ive been using the approach baristas take, heating the milk to around 140-145 as a way to exploit the conversion of alpha to beta lactase, helping create a slightly sweeter milk component. Im not seeing any reason to scald the milk, as Im not doing a ganache, and the hydrogen sulfide produced by the breakdown of lactoglobulin (at around 172 degrees) really wrecks the flavor of the end product. Any thoughts or considerations?
- The only additive flavor Im introducing is vanilla. Ive found that, by doing a 24-hour cold infusion of only 2 grams of a bean in milk, I can flavor 600ml of the end product. I was hoping to weave in some cinnamon, preferably Ceylon, but its proving too harsh at any concentration. Perhaps I should try simply infusing the cinnamon into water, as a way to extract some different nuances. Thoughts or suggestions?
- Do any of you have any other too-deeply-thought-out hot chocolate recipes that might assist in my little project here? Despite a lot of research, Im not finding any other recipes that get serious about blends, temperatures, and process.
Thanks in advance for any thoughts you might have. - Adam / Paris Ptisseries
updated by @adam-wayda: 04/10/15 01:06:25PM