To me, chocolate milk has always felt excessive. Or at least redundant. Cold, plain milk, sweet and filling, was treat enough. (To be clear: I wasn’t opposed to adding chocolate. Just, then it became a dessert food, one that was best sipped hot and right before retiring to one’s bed chambers for the night.)
But then we got a cow and suddenly I needed ways to encourage milk consumption.
And then I noticed that all the dairy-minded folk I’d started following talked about making chocolate milk like it was an ordinary thing, and I was like, Wait. Why not? We dress up all our other regular food — jelly on toast, brown sugar on oatmeal, coconut cream in smoothies — so why not milk? A daily glass or two of (not-overly) chocolatey milk isn’t that terrible. Besides, raw milk is packed with nutrition, so if we’re drinking more of it, yay!
The way these people made their chocolate milk, though, I had my doubts. They all whizzed the dry cocoa-sugar mix straight into the milk. Without first cooking the raw cocoa, wouldn’t it be grainy? So I tried it and well, yes, my instincts had been correct. The drink was good, but I wasn’t much rocking the powdery vibes. So then I tried it with confectioner’s sugar instead of granulated sugar, like other recipes called for — maybe the sugar was the problem, not the cocoa — but no. Of course not. Sugar dissolves.
And then I happened upon a New York Times recipe that called for boiling the dark cocoa, sugar, and water slurry after which more chocolate — this time unsweetened chunks — and vanilla and salt were added.
Now this, I knew, would work.
The resulting sauce was so dark it was nearly black and so strong it almost tasted alcoholic. In the fridge, it sets up into a thick fudge. Prior to stirring it into the milk, I had to melt it a little.
These days, I’m mixing up a half gallon of lightly chocolate-ed milk at a time for daily consumption. I first make a concentrate — a couple cups of milk in the blender with a scoop or two of chocolate sauce. Once whizzed, I pour the chocolate milk concentrate back to the big jar of milk.
Immediately after blending, it’s pale in color and big in volume.
After it sits for a bit, it settles and darkens.
For treats, or for company, I make it extra strong, and for my husband and me, I’ve been known to whirl it up with vanilla ice cream and Bailey’s. For sipping, right before bed, mm-mm-mmm.
Adapted from NYTimes Cooking.
I just realized the recipe says this is to be mixed with 8 cups of milk. Eight cups!! That’s some seriously rich chocolate milk! I still have some sauce left in the fridge and I bet we’ve already made close to a gallon of chocolate milk.
¾ cups sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
½ cup water
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla
In a saucepan, whisk together the cocoa powder, sugar, and salt. Add the water and bring to a rolling boil over medium high heat, whisking steadily. Remove from heat and whisk in the chopped cocoa and vanilla. Once it’s completely smooth, pour the sauce into a jar, cool to room temp, and store in the fridge.
To make chocolate milk: using a blender (stand or hand-held) or whisk, blend the chocolate syrup into the milk, using as much, or as little, as you like.
This same time, years previous: a few good things, the quotidian (8.12.19), riding paso fino, fresh peach pie, tomato bread pudding with caramelized onions and sausage, the Murch collision of 2015, spaghetti with vodka cream tomato sauce, the quotidian (8.12.13), there’s that.