“The fireplace is an appropriate element in any room.
Imagine relaxing by the fire, reading the paper
with a cup of hot chocolate in your bedroom.
It’s very sensory.”
~ Gary Lewis
Now that winter is officially here, it is the perfect time to pour yourself and loved one a steamy cup of hot cocoa. In a recent article from NPR, the author, Jordan Calmes, argues that hot chocolate is more American than apple pie!
George Washington often accompanied his breakfast of choice that consisted of cornmeal hoe cakes with honey and cream with a cup of warm chocolate cream. According to the new cookbook titled Dining with the Washingtons released by George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate, warm chocolate cream was a typical addition to the first president’s meals.
A chocolate historian at Mars, Inc., Mr. Rodney Snyder, shared that hot cocoa definitely has roots in early American history. According to archaeological evidence, it is suggested that present day inhabitants of Mexico have been cultivating and drinking hot chocolate 4,000 years ago while the apple (for the apple pie argument) originated in Asia.
The idea of chocolate as a drink has been around for most of chocolate’s history while candy bars surfaced in the late 1800s. The 18th-century, Washingtonian version of chocolate cream, or hot chocolate, contains grated chocolate solids and sugar mixed into a cup of warm water, milk, or even brandy. New-world flavors like chili powder, vanilla, and allspice often seasoned the drink.
In 18th-century Europe, chocolate was a status symbol and viewed as a treat solely for the rich and the royals. Mr. Snyder contributes that in North America, chocolate was enjoyed by president and commoner alike because the cacao’s point of origin was closer in the Americas and the Caribbean sugar was relatively inexpensive.
In colonial America, chocolate was not just for breakfast and was valued as a high energy food that did not spoil. Mr. Snyder says, “Chocolate is very transportable, so it was very good for the army.” So, when Washington filled his canteen with cherry bounce (his favorite mixture of juice, spices, and brandy), and headed out for the battlefield, he may have packed some chocolate as well.
Chocolate with Cream
Makes 5 to 6 cups
- 1 Cup of water
- 5 & 1/4 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate, grated
- 3/4 Cup of sugar, or more as needed
- 4 Cups of heavy whipping cream
1. In the top of a double boiler, heat the water until very warm. Gradually add the chocolate, stirring constantly until melted. Blend in the sugar, and continue to stir until thoroughly dissolved. Add 1 cup of the cream, and continue to heat, stirring to blend.
2. Transfer the chocolate to a large saucepan, and stir in the remaining cream. Whisk over medium heat until scalding (just below the boiling point).
3. Use a chocolate mill, whisk, or immersion blender to froth the chocolate cream. Pour into posset or demitasse cups, and spoon the froth on top.
“Love is like swallowing hot chocolate before it has cooled off.
It takes you by surprise at first,
but keeps you warm for a long time.”