Chococcino!

It’s October and as the temperature in the Netherlands drops (though we still have to work our way through lots of rainy days usually) I feel more and more the need of warm coffee and warm chocolate, and so the inevitable question arises: why not combine the two of them? This creates one of my ultimate guilty pleasures: a chococcino!

Chocolate, cinnamon and coffee!

It is very easy to prepare, just think of a cappuccino but instead of regular milk use chocolate milk and follow the rule-of-thumb of “thirds”:

  • Prepare a standard espresso in a larger cup, so that the shot is about one third of its volume
  • Then add a third of hot chocolate milk
  • And finish up adding a third of steamed, frothed chocolate milk.

It’s clear to me that Dutch are chocolate milk lovers, because I have a wide variety of ready-to-drink chocolate milks in the supermarket that I can choose from. Of course the usual full fat, medium skimmed and skimmed chocolate milk, but additionally there is also for instance dark chocolate milk that is more bitter and less sweet than the regular chocolate milk.

So I use a ready-to-drink chocolate milk sold here in the Netherlands: I’m happy enough with its flavour and of course simply for easiness. But if you dont have such chocolate milk at home you can also use regular milk and cocoa powder. However, I have to warn you, depending on the cocoa powder, the amounts and composition, it will be easier or more difficult to steam the milk. If I use medium skimmed milk and pure cocoa powder to decrease my guilt, then it is not so easy for me to get a nice frothed chocolate layer on top of my chococcino. I cannot really understand why, maybe the cocoa powder adds fat to the milk that makes it harder to foam, I don’t know yet. But using for instance my favourite chocolate powder from Mexico with a hint of cinnamon, I can make perfect and delicious foam. I presume it’s just a matter of trying.

When using cocoa powder, be generous

And what about the coffee? Well, for this drink, to counterbalance the strong cocoa taste I like to use naturally dried coffees with a nutty tone, such as the Cariamanga Natural from my store (www.engrano.nl) . Using a mild coffee turns this drink into just hot chocolate and that is not the intention: the coffee should remain the star.

If you want to give an extra flavour kick then add spices! With chocolate and coffee I love to add cinnamon. But a little bit of orange zest is great too, or a tiny bit of vanilla…..

An indulgence, as a warm drink or a dessert. As soon as the weather cools down I spoil myself with a warm Chococcino!

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