Archive for the 'Drinking Chocolate' Category

Drinking Chocolate with Taha’s Vanilla Salt

Dark Chocolate is every bit as complex and satisfying as wine. Each cacao bean reflects the unique genetic heritage, terroir, growing conditions, and horticulture of the Theobroma cacao tree, and every cacao farmer and cacao buyer has a gastronomic perspective and level of skill that hugely influences the resulting chocolate. For this reason, eating a dark chocolate bar is one of the purest, most satisfying ways to experience the unbounded intricacies of chocolate itself.

Another way to experience the power and revel in the versatility of chocolate is to drink it. The history of drinking chocolate dates back to the deepest shadows of pre-civilization; for hundreds of years, and possibly for thousands, French, Spanish, Aztecs, and Olmecs have consumed it as a drink. When melted down, superbly crafted dark chocolate reaches its fullest expression. It is complex and stimulating; an entire jungle of Theobroma cacao chocolate trees spring up from your taste buds, revealing before you unexpected textural dimensions and infinitely varied flavors.

Choosing the bar is your opportunity for adventure. Let your imagination run free and your personal tastes deliver you into the wild. Nothing is off limits here; use your favorite dark or milk chocolate. If you crave intense red fruit and berry notes with a pleasant tartness, try the bold, ripe flavor of Dandelion Madagascar 70% Dark Chocolate. If you’re in the mood for intense red wine and tobacco flavors, use the agile Dick Taylor Dominican Republic 74% Dark Chocolate. Melt it down, stir in a finishing salt, like Taha’a Vanilla or Halen Mon Gold, and taste the beautifully deep flavor your favorite chocolate was destined for.  It’s your turn to explore.


Drinking Chocolate with Taha’a Vanilla Salt

Recipe adapted from the “Drinking Chocolate with Taha’a Vanilla Salt” recipe in Salted: A Manifesto on the World’s Most Essential Mineral, with Recipes.

Serves 2


1 1/2 cup hot water

6 oz dark chocolate, such as Dandelion Madagascar 70% Dark Chocolate or Dick Taylor Dominican Republic 74% Dark Chocolate, chopped or broken into small pieces

Two 2-finger pinches Taha’a Vanilla Salt, plus more for rim


Heat the water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once the water begins to steam (you don’t want it to boil), add in the chocolate and stir until melted. Remove from heat, let thicken for  5 minutes, and then stir in salt. If desired, rim glass or mug with additional salt, then serve.


You can also try The Meadow’s recipe for Hot Cocoa, or find a sweet selection of drinking chocolates from Guittard, Askinosie, Cafe Tasse, and Michael Recchiuti at The Meadow’s online shop.


MarieBelle Aztec Original Hot Chocolate

What I love about MarieBelle Aztec Original Hot Chocolate is that it is actually a damn fine drinking chocolate that whips up like a glass of Nestlé Quik.  It is definitely easy to prepare.  Just mix with boiling water to create a full-flavored cup of European-style hot chocolate.  And it is definitely satisfying: lush, rich, bold, and balanced.  I don’t think it’s the most sophisticated drinking chocolate in the world–for that you need to go to a quality single origin bar or a very fine blend of a higher grad cacao, and make the drinking chocolate yourself.  But not everyone needs the most sophisticated drinking chocolate in the world every day.  I drink seven cups of drinking chocolate a week in the winter and three or four a week in the summer or when I’m travelling, and the vast majority of those I’m just looking for satisfying sustenance with solid flavor.  MarieBelle easily fits that bill, and then some!

Another way to use MarieBelle Hot Chocolate is to mix it with milk to make a more traditional American-style hot chocolate.  It can also be used as an ingredient.  Make the the European version of the drinking chocolate and refrigerate it for a chocolate filling or additive for pies (pecan is super) or drink it as a dark Creme de Chocolat.

Voted Best Tasting Hot Chocolate by Business Week (whoever they are!), MarieBelle Hot Chocolate is made from single origin Colombian Cocoa (63%) and contains no cocoa powder.


Iced Chocolate

Chocolate powder to 1/4 C of boiling water. Stir until smooth and well melted. In a blender, mix melted chocolate with 2 Cups of ice. Blend until ice is well grounded, serve at once. Makes 16 oz.


MarieBelle Drinking chocolates and a smattering of their other chocolate goodies, such as the beautiful (to look at) and quite tasty (to eat) MarieBelle White Chocolate Macha is now available for sale at The Meadow.