Looking for THICK drinking chocolate mix
I enjoy your standard hot cocoa as much as the next gal, but I have found that most hot chocolate mixes are really not like real drinking chocolate... you know, the kind that's really thick and creamy and coats your spoon, like a lump of chocolate melted into semi-liquid form. I know that "real" drinking chocolate mixes exist as I've had it before at friends' houses, but I can't seem to find one in any store. I've tried just about every fancy brand of chocolate, but no dice. Any suggestions?
Have you tried making them with milk (whole milk?) and maybe a touch of cream? Half&half if you don't have cream...
Can't be much help in recommending a brand of instant mix; offhand, I'd say take emmekin's advice and try using a good quality cocoa mix & making it with whole milk and some cream, maybe adding shredded solid chocolate or even a little cornstarch slurry to thicken it up still more.
It's clear that you understand hot cocoa and hot chocolate are really two different animals. I'm not sure there are any instant powder versions of a true hot chocolate being mass marketed. Could your friends be making their own? Or buying direct from a chocolatier?
When I make hot chocolate for myself I use dark chocolate and real milk, often with a splash of Frangelico or Amaretto, and a little cream when I'm feeling particularly decadent. And to my tastes it's great every time, though not particularly thick..
You could always make a ganache and then thin it to suit your personal preference. (I know, that's not convenient or quick, but you'd be guaranteed a rich, rewarding cup of chocolate.)
There are a number of very good recipes for homemade hot chocolate posted to this thread:
Look for a Spanish brand. Don't know how available it is where you live but Spanish hot chocolate is thick - almost like a drinkable pudding. I can't remember exactly what they add to the cocoa to achieve that consistency - either some type of wheat flour or cornstarch - but it's really wonderful. If I'm ever in Spain I always bring some of the mix home with me.
When you buy "drinking chocolate," for the most part it's a bag of chopped/ground-up regular chocolate, like a chocolate bar. You can either buy "drinking chocolate," or just buy a chocolate bar you like and use that.
Chop up the chocolate coarsely with a knife. Add about four tablespoons chocolate to about a quarter cup of boiling water, and whisk it together until it's all melted. Then add milk, cream, booze, etc. (I add a few tablespoons of heavy cream and a little vanilla extract.) You can do this over heat in a saucepan, or you can do it straight in the cup. I've been making lots of it this month so I have the technique down! I love the pudding texture.
re: Sarah Perry
It's ridiculosly expensive (like $24 per pack) but the Blaxart drinking chocolate mix (Zingermans sometime has it) might fit the bill. It is super thick. In fact the time I made it with thick pine honey and put my leftovers in the fridge to cool a little, it turned into chcolate mousse