Vegetarian food blog featuring nourishing home cooked recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

Chocolate Week: Day Six

 

All this blustery and quite frankly miserable weather we’ve been experiencing down here in the last few days means that warming comfort food is required. What could be more comforting than wrapping your hands around a mug of steaming hot chocolate in cheery defiance of the weather gods?

Luckily I have both hot chocolate and some rather fine goat’s milk in plentiful supply.

The goats at St Helen’s Farm in East Yorkshire have been producing fresh milk for the last 27 years. Many people who find themselves unable to drink cow’s milk, are able to tolerate the goat version. Do watch out for future goaty posts where I will be trying out other products from the farm. I’m not normally a fan of skimmed milk, or even semi-skimmed milk, but I did like both of these in goat form and they do work remarkably well with chocolate. There is a slight goaty tang, but it’s not too strong and adds another dimension to the drink which I could become quite addicted to.

Chocolate Week has brought me many delights and one of these was a chocolate bar from Barry Callebaut with my name iced on the top. This put a big smile on my face. It wasn’t long, however, before the bar disappeared. Half of it went into a pan of skimmed goat’s milk to make the hot chocolate you can see above and the other half was shared with CT a little later.

Hans Sloane Drinking Chocolate

Back in May, I reviewed Hans Sloane Natural Honey and Rich Dark drinking chocolates and was favourably impressed. I was hoping to try their award winning Madagascar and Ecuador single origin varieties, so I was delighted when a fragrant parcel arrived in the post. CT and I girded our loins and got down to the difficult business of doing a compare and contrast exercise. It was difficult to see much difference in the appearance of these two chocolates but when it came to smell and taste the resemblance disappeared. Thick and rich as these drinking chocolates are, I decided to taste test them with water once again. The shiny chocolate beads melt beautifully this way and the flavours are not masked by dairy.  I found, with absolutely no surprise whatsoever, that we liked both of them. We did, however, both have the same preference.

Madagascar 67% – a rich and fruity aroma wafts up from the packet on opening. It has a strong fruity taste with aromatic cardamom notes. It’s also a little bitter and leaves a slightly drying sensation behind in the mouth.

Ecuador 70% – the fragrance is more of tobacco in this case. It has woody notes with liquorice tones that make it quite robust. It is less sweet, richer and drier than the Madagascar which makes it our favourite.

There is currently a 20% discount on the Ecuador, so now is a good time to try it. You’ll find this on the Hans Sloane website.

Mortimer Chocolate Powder

Some of you may be aware that I’m a big fan of Mortimer’s chocolate powders. They are fabulous used in bakes where chocolate is called for, as no melting is required; the chocolate is ground down to a powder so can go straight into the mix – less fuss and less washing up. The powders also make excellent hot chocolates. Not only do they taste good, but the chocolate melts quickly and easily. The dark chocolates are both 70%, but come from two different continents: one from Ecuador and one from West Africa. I have reviewed these in a previous post, so I won’t repeat my findings here. The fruity West African, however, worked particularly well in these rich chocolate scones.

The white couverture powder is equally impressive and contains 40% cocoa solids, which is much higher than many brands. Flavoured with natural vanilla, it is free from both gluten and soya. I’ve used it in various recipes, but you can find specific mention in my red gooseberry cakes and burnt butter cupcakes. I have to confess that I’ve not tried this as a hot chocolate, but for those with a sweet tooth, I expect it would make a very nice drink indeed.

 

Come back tomorrow for more ChocolateWeek tasters and don’t miss out on those posted earlier this week:

Chocolate Week: Day One
Chocolate Week: Day Two
Chocolate Week: Day Three
Chocolate Week: Day Four
Chocolate Week: Day Five

 

Thanks go to Hans Sloane, Mortimer Chocolate Company, St Helen’s Farm and Barry Callebaut for the various samples. I was not required to write positive reviews and as always, all opinions are my own.

Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    Angie Schneider
    18th October 2014

    I am so intrigued with the white couverture powder! Is it exactly like white chocolate powder?

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette Blogger
      18th October 2014

      Hi Angie – it’s a good quality white chocolate that’s been ground up into a rough powder. Guessing it’s called couverture because of the high cocoa butter content.

  2. Leave a Reply

    Lisa1970
    18th October 2014

    I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to find your blog! I’ve done a whole week of National Chocolate Week posts and only just saw this link in a Facebook group; looking forward to having a good look around while I’m here 🙂

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette Blogger
      19th October 2014

      Hi Lisa – thanks for dropping by and commenting. I’m really pleased to have found someone who’s also been posting every day this week. Will pop over to see what you’ve been up to.

  3. Leave a Reply

    Sarah Ebner
    18th October 2014

    Love the fact that the white powder doesn’t have soya, as my son is allergic and we are always looking for great things to try! All sounds delicious to me too!!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette Blogger
      19th October 2014

      Gosh Sarah, it must be quite hard finding chocolate without soya in it. There are an increasing number around, but not in the mainstream yet.

  4. Leave a Reply

    bangers-and-mash.com
    18th October 2014

    After today’s miserable drizzle, I really could do with a mug of luxury hot chocolate, and rather like the look and sound of the Hans Sloane Ecuador – might just have to get me some of that!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette Blogger
      19th October 2014

      Yes, grey drizzle isn’t much fun at all, luckily it’s a whole lot better today – or at least it is down here! I can very heartily recommend Hans Sloane.

  5. Leave a Reply

    Laura Huggins
    18th October 2014

    I have never been able to find that perfect cup of hot chocolate. Will definitely look into these

    Laura x x x

  6. Leave a Reply

    Kate Glutenfreealchemist
    19th October 2014

    There are some amazing hot chocolates out there these days…… so much better than I remember as a kid. And yes…… definitely comforting and perfect for the autumnal chill….

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette Blogger
      20th October 2014

      Thanks Kate. I do remember my mother making hot chocolate using real chocolate as a special treat, but mostly it was just cocoa.

  7. Leave a Reply

    GG
    19th October 2014

    What a fabulous selection of hot chocolate options. I must admit to being quite a fan of Mortimer chocolate. As you say it’s great in bakes, so easy to use and chocolatey. GG

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette Blogger
      20th October 2014

      Thanks GG, it’s good to hear that others have found Mortimer’s chocolate powders, they are fab and make cooking with chocolate that little bit easier.

  8. Leave a Reply

    KC the Kitchen Chopper
    20th October 2014

    Thanks for the info about Goat’s milk. Your hot cocoa looks delish. I may have to try this as a winter time recovery drink. I’m an endurance cyclist as well as a personal trainer and food blogger. We drink chocolate milk for recovery and in the winter in so great to have it hot. Thanks. And nice connecting with you through “Food Bloggers Social Support” 🙂 Pinned!

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette Blogger
      20th October 2014

      Thanks KC – cycling is a great excuse for chocolate consumption, especially if you’re doing it to the extreme. Drinking chocolate hot in the winter is a must.

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