Monday, April 25, 2005

Hot Chocolate

In an inspired move, I purchased some dark chocolate chips this afternoon (it felt like morning as I had just woke up) when I went to the supermarket to get some necessities.

I don’t like my coffee black, but there was no more milk in the fridge. I wanted my brew of espresso though. That explains why I took a walk to the supermarket.

Back to the dark chocolate chips. I had heard of a chocolate café (incidentally, located in the same complex as the supermarket) that serves a chocolate drink by the name of sakau, whatever it means, however it is spelled. This drink consists of a small vat of milk held above a little candle flame to keep the milk warm. Dark, milk and white chocolate chips are provided to the customer to dissolve into the liquid as she sees fit.

Hell, I’m not going to pay though my nose for what could be a very simple recipe presented in what might be a beautifully finished glazed vat and candle holder set in a café ambience.

Here is what I did, parsed into readable instructions, and designed for people without microwave ovens.

In a reasonably sized pot, bring a moderate amount of water to boil.
Fill a cup with about a third of milk and immerse the cup (and milk) in the hot water to warm the milk.
When the milk is hot to touch (by dipping a finger into the liquid), add pieces of dark chocolate into the milk. Add about one part of chocolate to 5 parts milk. (For every 5cm of milk depth, add chocolate till the liquid level increases by another cm.)
Stir till chocolate is completely melted and homogenously dispersed throughout the milk.
Your milk should take on a evil chocolate colour.
Remove cup from hot water bath and consume while hot.

It is advisable to make only small quantities as the chocolate concentration is rather high and can make you quite sick of chocolate.

It is important to consume when the milk is well above the melting temperature of chocolate. Otherwise, the liquid chocolate will solidify into a suspension of very tiny particles that just get washed down like a paracetamol pill instead of being actually tasted.

The benefits of using a hot water bath are that the only thing that needs washing is the cup, and the hot water can be used to boil noodles or pasta. Also, the chocolate bits do not precipitate and solidify upon pouring into a cold cup.

This drink is hot, is extremely concentrated, and it is made of chocolate. In short, it is very yit hei. Beware.