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Best Locally Available Hot Chocolate Powder?

What do you love, why do you love it, where can I buy it?

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  1. You know, it's expensive and outrageous but I really like Recchiuti's hot chocolate stuff. It isn't a powder, it is chocolate pistoles that you mix with boiling water. I consider it excellent. No milk necessary, very deep chocolate flavor, not overly sweet.

    13 Replies
    1. re: wally

      I don't understand this product. Why not just use your favorite chocolate? If it's convenience, get out your microplane, grate a whole bunch and put it in a container for quick use for a fraction of the cost.

      Morton, why do you want to use hot chocolate powder? Have you not yet discovered how incredibly easy it is to make hot chocolate from chocolate? That way you can use your favorite fair trade, organic, etc. chocolate and some organic milk, plus you can experiment with spicing.

      1. re: Ruth Lafler

        I have tried this. His mixture is better than mine and I have tried a lot of chocolate mixes. I said it was outrageous and expensive. I am picky.

          1. re: Morton the Mousse

            I take it Ruth is now off your gift list.

            1. re: wolfe

              LOL. He could still make his own, put it in a pretty container and give it as a gift, along with some nicely printed instructions for using it and making more. But yeah, gift, okay. It's just that it was relatively late in life that I realized I could make hot chocolate out of real chocolate, and now I tend to proselytize.

              As for the original question, Fog City News has some exotic drinking chocolates. I'd also try Berkeley Bowl, which might carry Green and Blacks and Dagoba organic drinking chocolates, and Charles Chocolates and Michael Mischer -- I believe they both make drinking chocolate. Lulu Rae might carry some of the local artisan brands.

              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                Example: http://jas.familyfun.go.com/recipefin...
                I just found one in my cupboard with no label but I suspect it is Ghirardelli.

                1. re: wolfe

                  The new Elbow place in Hayes Valley has 2 flavors of drinking chocolate in nice tins that would make pretty gifts. I'm sure they are expensive, but the hot chocolate i've had at the shop is very good.

                2. re: Ruth Lafler

                  Ummm, hold on please. Pardon my ignorance, but how do you make hot chocolate w/ just The Stuff and milk? is it really just grating chocolate and heating with milk on the stove? let me know and i will fly to get a Scharffenberger Extra Dark! my complaint about most hot chocolate is that I can never get it chocolatey enough, with low enough sugar. Have tried. Have failed.

                  1. re: bunky

                    Try it without the milk, or with just a small amount of milk and mostly water.

                    1. re: bunky

                      Yup. Melt chocolate, add milk. In some order. If I'm making one cup, I tend to melt the chocolate in the cup in the microwave, then slowly stir in the milk (with a whisk or a fork), then reheat. If I'm making more than one cup, I just put the chocolate in with the milk, heat it on the stove or in the microwave, and then whisk it or hit it with the immersion blender. I use about one ounce of dark chocolate for four ounces of milk, but you can play with the ratio until you get it to your liking. And of course you can play with the fat content of your milk, too. Although I only drink nonfat plain, for hot chocolate I use a whole milk or a mixture of non-fat and half and half or cream (whichever I have in the fridge).

                      Pre-grating the chocolate is not necessary, but does make it easier to blend in the chocolate if you don't want to mess with a whisk.

                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                        Another option is Bittersweet Cafe's drinking chocolate available in small tin cans, if you like their chocolate drinks.

                        Edit: And here's more info on their website - http://shop.bittersweetcafe.com/drink...

                        -----
                        Bittersweet Cafe
                        2123 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94115

                        Bittersweet Cafe
                        5427 College Ave, Oakland, CA

                        1. re: dreamsicle

                          Since I use soy milk to make my hot chocolate I find that bittersweet (either classic or the bittersweet) are the best ones in terms of depth...they are also amazing iced!!!!

                      2. re: bunky

                        I keep bars of Scharffen Berger bittersweet 70% cacao bars on hand for baking and I love it for making hot chocolate. Their recipe:

                        6 ounces 70% bittersweet chocolate, chopped
                        1 quart milk (anything from nonfat to half & half goes)

                        Place the chocolate in a small, heavy saucepan Add one cup of the milk and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until the chocolate is completely melted. Add the remaining milk and raise the heat to medium, whisking rapidly. Do not allow to boil.

                        Claims to serve 6-8, but in my house it's more like 3-4 servings.

            2. I prefer Green & Black's organic powder...excellent flavor and dissolves well. I use boiling water and a shot of half and half. It's available at most gourmet food stores.

              1. Trader Joe's Sippin' Chocolate. Because it's a dark chocolate drink, not a milk chocolte drink.

                2 Replies
                1. re: MobyRichard

                  I really like this one as well, but alas, it's a *seasonal* product and won't be back until November. Bittersweet is extremely tasty, but at $15 a can, a lot more expensive.

                  1. re: BigWoodenSpoon

                    Originally I was told that it was seasonal, but then a month later (February) it came back in. At least where I am.

                2. We use Pernigotti cocoa. Williams-Sonoma has it on and off.

                  1. The best, over-the-top, hot chocolate mix I've ever tried was the Midnight Oasis from Chocolat Moderne, available at Fog City News in SF. This mix produces an amazingly rich, thick, and very intense hot chocolate drink. Great flavor - not too sweet. Reminds me a little bit of the European hot chocolates that resemble a freshly made chocolate pudding.
                    http://www.chocolatmoderne.com/

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: kresge86

                      The pudding-like hot chocolate in Italy is cocoa thickened with cornstarch.

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                        is that something I could just improv on while working with my perfect mixture? today was cold... tomorrow may be also and with a big bar of Sharffen Berger Extra Dark, I could be set. I prefer it under sugared and over-chocolated... So I'd grate some chocolate (2 oz) into a mix of say, water and whole milk, (for a total of 8 oz liquid) or even 1/2 and 1/2, then whisk, then pull a bit out for cornstarching? hot chocolate pudding-ish is very tempting thought right now.

                    2. We like the Aztec hot chocolate at Coupa in Palo Alto. Just slightly spicy. Though it seems better there than at home....

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Kim Cooper

                        That is Chuao which I like a lot. It is spicy though.

                        Lulu Rae on College sells it.