National Cocoa Day

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 Yep – there is a National day of celebration for that cup of warm goodness, Cocoa! But don’t confuse hot cocoa with hot chocolate. They aren’t the same!

Hot chocolate is made by mixing ground chocolate with milk.  Chocolate contains cocoa butter.  This is actually drinking warm chocolate.

Cocoa on the other hand requires cocoa powder – this powder has no cocoa butter in it.  The cocoa bean is fermented, then dried and roasted and finally ground into a paste.  This paste, the chocolate liquor is separated from the butter, leaving only the powder.  It has very few calories and is mixed with hot milk or water and often, sugar.  That makes hot cocoa.

It is believed the Mayans were the first to make this beverage (sans the sugar).  It moved North and became and important part of Aztec culture.  The unsweetened drink was used primarily as medicine for gastrointestinal problems.  And today it is known to have large quantities antioxidants that help to protect against cancer and aides in digestion.  The flavonoids that present in the powder also help to protect the arteries!  Just remember to go easy on the sugar!

Top it with marshmallows, top it with whipped cream, top it with nothing – cocoa just has a way of soothing the soul.

And so for your Cocoa Day celebration, here are two versions to enjoy.  The first, Mexican Cocoa – a tribute to the beverages origins.  Here’s how to make them…

Mexican Hot Cocoa

What you need:

  • 4 cups milk
  • 2 ½ disks of Mexican chocolate
  • pinch chipotle chili powder
  • Whipping cream

How to Do it:

Place the milk in a large sauce pan.  Break up the chocolate disks as much a possible.

 

These disks are made with the cocoa powder, cinnamon and other ingredients common in the Mexican cocoa.  Heat until the disks have completely melted.  Add a pinch of the chili powder.  

 

 

 

Serve in warm mugs topped with whipped cream and a sprinkle of chili powder.

Simply delicious!

Serves 4

Peppermint Cocoa

What you need:

  • 4 cups milk
  • ½ cup of cocoa powder
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 shots (about 6 oz) Peppermint liquor (I used Smirnoff)
  •           OR for the kids,  ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
  • Whipping cream
  • Crushed peppermint bark (I used Ghiradelli)

How to Do it:

Put the first five ingredients in a large sauce pan.  Heat until all the ingredients are dissolved and hot.  Remove from the heat and stir in the peppermint.

Put into warm mugs and top with whipped cream.  Garnish with smashed or grated peppermint bark.  Put your feet up and enjoy!

Serves 4

 

© Copyright 2016 The Lazy Gastronome

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13 Responses to National Cocoa Day

  1. Teresa says:

    Ah, I could have national cocoa day all fall and winter long! Thank you for sharing all thse recipes at The Really Crafty Link Party this week. Pinned!

  2. The Mexican hot chocolate looks amazing!

  3. You make me want a hot chocolate with cream on top. Sadly chocolate does not like me, I sneak a little now and then and it is just like you say.

    Kathleen
    Bloggers Pit Stop

  4. Pingback: Creative Spark Link Party #132 - two purple couches

  5. Now this is my kind of day!! Thanks so much for sharing over at Friday Frivolity 🙂

  6. This looks so quick to prepare and very tasty. Helen, you gave me a great idea what to prepare for my friends next time when they come over.

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