Friday, February 8, 2008

AmsterZanne Cocoa

photo found uncredited on web

The holidays are over. The lights are slowing coming down. Even Mardi Gras has paraded by. Apart from the overcommercialized obligation-wrought Valentine's Day, we're on the downturn, folks. Those no man's land weeks before the weather wheel revolves to spring. Chances are, if you live in the northern hemisphere you still have a dreary cold damp day or two ahead of you.

Well, one thing Amsterdammers are great at is having a good time indoors. The sight of friends gathered and laughing in the candlelight is a commonly held, and practiced, ideal. What a better way to warm your friends than homeade cocoa? The Dutch love their chocolate, and I love their chocolate. I use Blooker cocoa powder, a common one found here, but any will do. Use the best you can find.

AmsterZanne Homeade Cocoa
unsweetened cocoa powder
whole milk
granulated sugar
a thick bottomed pot
a whisk
a stove
functioning utilities

If cheapie thin aluminum pots are all you have, then use it, but set it over or in another pan of water to temper the heat and keep the chocolate from burning.

Throw equal amounts of sugar and cocoa in the pot and add enough milk, to stir it up for starters. Use a whisk. Just keep tasting and add whichever ingredient you need. I make it super thick and chocolatey, then serve mine, and then add more sugar for my guy.

AmsterZanne Cocoa cranked up a notch
do above but also...

warm cups by letting them sit with boiling or very hot tap water in them a minute before pouring in the cocoa (pour the water out of the cups first, duh)

real vanilla extract
powdered cinnamon
canned whipping cream

Pour the cocoa into the warmed cups
add scant tsp of vanilla to each cup
dollop or spritz top of cup with whipping cream
sprinkle with cinnamon

AmsterZanne Cocoa cranked up to notches unknown (nods to Emeril)

do all the above steps, but make the whipped cream yourself.
Whipping cream
powdered sugar
electric beaters
metal bowl
everything very cold, I even chill the bowl
Whip it. Whip it good.
Then immediately pop it in the fridge till you pour the cocoa.

Back to The Cocoa

Take it off the heat. Stir in teaspoon or so (depending on how much you made) of ONE of the following:
almond extract
orange flavoring
peppermint flavoring

now serve as above, with the homeade whipped cream. You can add a garnish that complements the added ingredient. A peppermint stick, chocolate shavings, an orange spiral, an almond branch. Be creative.

Serve with plain unsugared cookies. Think not-too-flavorful grownup cookies. And ice water. The end.

Really, you can skip all the notched stuff. Just cocoa, milk, sugar. That's all you need. The real end.


  1. YUM!!! Real hot chocolate, like my mom made when I was a kid!

    If you whip the cream vigorously enough, does it replace working out? I wish I had access to good quality cocoa powder where I live.

  2. Bill, have you checked at "For the Love of Chocolate" in Carytown? I can't imagine you wouldn't find the cocoa of your dreams there.


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