I love hot chocolate. People frequently give me hot chocolate as a Christmas present. I will go for miles just to find good hot chocolate at a cafe. Until lately, when I finally had money and my own kitchen, I didn’t have the motivation to make my own handmade stuff, but that’s coming up asap. Until then, however, I’ve been drinking powders, and over the course of time graduated from mainstream (Nestle) to more, ah, uppercrust – i.e. Godiva and Ghirardelli.
Godiva Hot Cocoa – milk chocolate flavor, they also have a dark chocolate – was a gift from a friend after I wrote her a letter of recommendation for journalism school (happy ending: she got in to her dream program and is currently residing in New York). Unfortunately…Godiva failed to deliver my own chocolate-happy ending. I have tried this multiple different ways in the vain hope that it will somehow deliver, and it just doesn’t. I have followed the instructions exactly – bring 1 cup of milk to a simmer and stir in 3 tablespoons of the power. I have also tried adding several extra tablespoons of the powder and making it with water instead. No use. No matter what I do to this stuff, it comes out bland instead of rich – there’s just little flavor, and what hot chocolate powder needs of course above all else is intense flavor. The texture is fine – nice and creamy – but as far as flavor this is passable at best. You may as well buy Nestle or any packet hot chocolate and it taste just as good if not better. I can’t recommend this at all. Huge disappointment.
Ghirardelli, though? Love. It’s a cold winter here in the Midwest, and I quite literally dream about this stuff on my way home from work. Similar to the Godiva, you heat milk until it simmers and then add the powder, but with the Ghirardelli you only need 2 spoonfuls for an average-sized mug, and it delivers two or three times the flavor. Incredibly rich and satisfying it just rolls onto the tongue with everything hot chocolate should be, and is better than 80% of the hot chocolate I’ve had at coffeeshops. Until I find a recipe for homemade hot chocolate that I adore, this will forever be my go-to, and will always be my fallback if I don’t have time to whip up homemade stuff. Go buy yourself a tin of this, my loves. Your tongue, and family (who will soon be as hooked as I am) will thank you. Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Chocolate, available for $5-$8 at many retailers, including most Walmarts.
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