Liquid chocolate to hot chocolate

Grant Wills
@grant-wills
03/07/16 06:13:16AM
5 posts

From my travels I came across Chocolat Chaud (hot chocolate) and noticed how much better it was than the rubbish we get local (watery). I wanted to recreate this product and offer it to people via a mobile coffee shop.

Typically local products are powders that get mixed with water/milk. I wanted to make a liquid (at fridge and room temp) chocolate sauce that could become a hot chocolate with cappuccino milk as the water/milk.

I was thinking of using Dutch cocoa powder, butter(milk) and sugar. Using milk butter as it is softer at room temp than cocoa butter.

Any tips on how I could make this liquid chocolate from scratch? Or any other thoughts?

Thanks in advance for your help

Clay Gordon
@clay
03/08/16 03:07:11PM
1,680 posts

The easiest way is just to melt chocolate and add liquid (milk) to get to the consistency you want. It can be a pourable syrup or scoopable ganache (there are advantages to both).

If you want to use cocoa powder a Dutched powder will probably have lower acidity than a natural powder. You can use water or milk to make the syrup - there is no need to add any fat (butter). You can use a high-fat powder (20-22%) if you want a fattier mouth feel. 

I would be tempted to make the syrup with water and then offer the options of different milks when making the final product. You could use skim, whole milk, half-and-half, or cream, or - and this could be interesting for some customers - coconut milk, almond milk, rice milk, or some other option. The base syrup is vegetarian and with the right sugar it could also be vegan.




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clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
Brad Churchill
@brad-churchill
03/12/16 12:36:45PM
527 posts

Here's a recipe you can try.  It's worked for me over the past 7 years, and I've sold close to 20,000 12 oz cups of the stuff at premium prices ($6 per cup).

4 litres of Homogonized Milk

450g of the best liquor you can buy (unsweetened chocolate)

890g of regular granulated sugar

60g cornstarch.

Shave the chocolate and set aside.

Mix the sugar and the cornstarch together, then dissolve in the milk and bring the milk to almost a boil.  

Remove the milk from heat, and stir in the shaved liquor.

Pour into a jug, and then portion out and use a steamer to reheat it as needed.

IF YOU WANT THE BEST FLAVOUR USE THE BEST INGREDIENTS.  Water isn't one of them.

Some people balk at the use of cornstarch, but it serves a couple of very important uses:  1.  It thickens the drink without making it too sweet or too bitter.  2.  It suspends all of the fats and particulate in the drink to create a homogenous beverage.   For a beverage truck type of service you are suggesting, melting chocolate and mixing it with liquid is not practical when there's a lineup of people impatiently waiting.  This beverage can be made ahead of time and quickly steamed with a miriad of spices to create different flavours.  One of my most popular is the drink with two tablespoons of hazelnut butter.  OMG!!!

It's also good to know that the use of corn starch goes back all the way to aztec times when maze (a traditional incredient) was ground with the cocoa beans to make the drink.  Back then the starches were introduced naturally.  Having said that, this recipe makes your drink closer to the traditional form than any of those you have described, and it tastes WAAAAAAY better.

Hope that helps.

Brad

Clay Gordon
@clay
03/13/16 01:24:54PM
1,680 posts

Brad - $6 Canadian? What's that in real money? [ Tongue planted firmly in cheek - it's a joke everyone. ]

Grant - there's some good advice in what Brad has to say. One is that you need to take a look at how long it's going to prepare a serving. One of the fastest ways — if you are committed to a la minute preparation — is to steam/froth an already prepare liquid. You don't have to have a 100% prepared in advance mix if your concept is something else, but take into consideration preparation times. It shouldn't take longer than preparing a cappuccino.

Water and milk make very different products. One is not necessarily better than the other, they are different. Traditionally, dairy was not used, water was. Cornstarch is a pretty modern ingredient in hot chocolate mixtures and is great (in small amounts) for adding mouth feel and body. Keep in mind that it does take some extra time for the starch to fully hydrate and if you serve it too soon it can have a pasty texture whether you use milk or water. In Mexico they used (and still use) very finely ground corn flour in their atole (also called champurrado).

If you wanted a very "authentic" product then water and very fine corn flour are one way to go. A more modern take (and one that might appeal to more customers) would be dairy and cornstarch. Of course, they aren't necessarily mutually exclusive.

AND, if you are going to use dairy, use the absolute best — freshest and most flavorful — dairy you can source.

:: Clay




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clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
Brad Churchill
@brad-churchill
03/13/16 01:56:47PM
527 posts

$6 drink in Canadian Dollars .... 99cents in US Dollars.

Advice from Brad ... Priceless.

Haha! 

Grant Wills
@grant-wills
03/13/16 02:34:58PM
5 posts

Thanks Clay and Brad. As per subject I was planning on pre preparing, a liquid choc, to cut down the time it would take to make it on site. Definitely no melting of chocolate.

I like the water ganache/syrup suggestion and that it would give me vegan/vegetarian options. Warm/hot milk could always get added to this to make it richer.

Ive been reading that water ganache tends to bring out the chocolaty notes better than standard ganache. Is this true?

Two weeks back I made a beautiful chocolat Chaud with chocolate and cream. This is the reason I was looking at butter to make it fattier/richer/thicker and equivalent to cream when I mixed the ganache/syrup with full cream milk.

I'm reluctant to use cornstarch but may consider it in the premixed water phase with sugar.

What can I do to increase the solubility of the cacao/cocoa?

So the suggestions is to use the best quality liquor which is basically ground nibs? I want to keep the costs down so would prefer not to use any components that are too expensive.

Brad Churchill
@brad-churchill
03/13/16 06:29:32PM
527 posts

Grant;

I've been doing this for a long time, and have amassed such a loyal following that my customers have, in the past two months stepped up and loaned my company $300,000 to build a bigger factory.

Here are some words of wisdom to live by when you are trying to "keep your costs down".

1.  Garbage in.  Garbage out.  You can't take crappy ingredients and make great things from them.  Cocoa powder is the bottom of the barrel in the chocolate industry.

3.  If you use liquor, you don't need to add fat.  The liquor is +/-50% fat already.  Use a homogenized milk, or even a 2% fat milk.  That works best.

4.  Under $20, if the quality is there, nobody cares about price.  This has been proven time and again with movie theatre admission, theatre popcorn, wine, chocolate bars, and way overpriced cappuccino's.  Make a product that WOW's people, THEN figure out your costs and charge accordingly.  People will pay the price you ask.

5.  With respect to a "vegan option", I did almost 6 months of research on this one, and it's a total bust.  I made a drinking chocolate with Soy Milk.  Anti-soy vegans complained.  I made a version with Almond Milk.  Nut allergic vegans complained, plus it tasted nutty.  I made a version with rice milk, and an amazing whipped edible oil product for the top (or optional toasted marshmallow).  It seemed to pass all the "acceptability tests" from all the hypocondriac fair trade organic non gmo wingnut vegans out there, so advertised the heck out of it.   In fact I got FABULOUS feedback during product trials.  So.... I spent several thousand dollars on marketing, literature, signage, social media (vegan facebook pages, etc.), and sold.... you ready?  40 servings.  I also threw out a lot of pre-prepared drink bases, because nobody purchased.  If you would like to create a version that caters to the 6 vegans out there in the world at the cost of quality to those who actually pay your bills, well.... I think you are selling yourself short.

Well, I hope that helps.

Clay Gordon
@clay
03/13/16 06:58:20PM
1,680 posts

Grant -

Brad gives a lot of good advice here. 

Right now it sounds like everything is abstract. Actually make the products and try them and then give them to your friends and have them try them. Test them out. You won't know what works until you do.

One thing we don't know is where you are. Brad's shop is in Calgary, Alberta, CA, and that market might be different from other markets.

Using butter is a bad idea - there's already enough fat in cocoa. If you want to make your product thicker/richer just use less liquid or mix different milks. See the Wikipedia entry on this.

Why are you reluctant to use cornstarch? Have you tried it?

The most important take-away from what Brad says is that by trying to be everything to everybody you end diluting (pun intended) the brand and end up being ... without a viewpoint. You cannot cater to every potential food allergy or dietary fad out there.

Pick something and do it well. Own it unapologetically and do the best you can. Yes, you will lose some business ... but focus on the 90% who want your product and not the 10%. (Is there a vegan meetup in your area?)

If you want to do a water base and then prepare it with milk or water that's about as far as I would go ... but if you are steaming will you have to have two of everything (do you have room in your mobile environment?) to avoid cross-contamination -- the fraction of your customers who are vegans (research suggests that about 2.5% of the population is vegan - at the high end - but I bet the percentage of vegans in Omaha, NE is a lot less than in San Francisco) will require it.

But until you actually test in your market you can't know.




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clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
Brad Churchill
@brad-churchill
03/13/16 09:07:41PM
527 posts

I agree with Clay.

OMG.... Did I just say that?  LMAO

Cheers and good luck with your drinks!

Grant Wills
@grant-wills
03/15/16 01:31:53AM
5 posts

Brad/Clay

Thanks again for the advice. My background is organic superfoods so I tend to focus too much on taking care of a niche. I'll instead focus on making the best hot chocolate possible.

I'll start with the recipe Brad suggested and adjust from there. I didnt quite get how to take it from kitchen to mobile vehicle to hot chocolate in customers hands?

antonino allegra
@antonino-allegra
03/15/16 12:20:30PM
143 posts

Brad Churchill:

I agree with Clay.

OMG.... Did I just say that?  LMAO

Cheers and good luck with your drinks!

WOW, Brad and Clay agreeing on something? how long have i been away from this forum???  what is happening!? ha ha ha!

Good luck with the factory Brad! following the process on FB...

Grant Wills
@grant-wills
03/23/16 08:32:50AM
5 posts

Oh and one thing I forgot to add is I am from South Africa. I actually have "Discover Chocolate" next time me and have dealt with Nino above in RSA.

antonino allegra
@antonino-allegra
03/23/16 08:37:18AM
143 posts

Small world Grant!

i will contact you directly via email, so we can catch up!

Clay Gordon
@clay
03/23/16 08:38:20AM
1,680 posts

Grant -

I've known Nino for many years as a ChocolateLife member and FBM customer. I had the opportunity to meet him for the first time at the Salon du Chocolat in Paris last October.

Glad the two of you can connect!




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clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/

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