Mon, Jan-14-02, 16:03
Plan: Atkins,PP - wgt in %
Location: Vancouver Island, BC
here's a recipe and tips for cocoa mix...
from the ever-fabulous Barbara Pollack of Expert Foods Inc., one of the original LowCarbers in this decade!
the 'bad' news: unfortunately one cannot import cow 'milk' products (yet! I'm working on it) across the border from the US ... yeah, like I'm a threat to Dairyland Corporation!
so for the Complete Mix as shown below, the RealCream would need to be left out and real cream added at the point of serving up (for we non-Americans, anyway).
the 'good' news: the basic mix works like a h*td*am and the cocoa is a LOT less likely to turn into a sludge on the bottom of the cup with the addition of the not/Sugar product, which is a specific blend of 4 different
vegetable gums, including guar gum.
, check out the "to prepare" section below for tips on how to avoid lumps when mixing up a lowcarb hot cocoa. I've always used the "paste" method and it sure helps those floaters blend in better by moistening them thoroughly.
Enough babble, here's Barbara's way of making Hot Cocoa Mix... and if you want it, here's the ExpertFoods webpage address so you can check out her other recipes (not ALL of which use her products but just happen to be great lowcarb recipes), at http://www.expertfoods.com/Recipes
Hot cocoa mixes are popular because they eliminate a lot of mess and bother. Anyone who has tried to mix cocoa powder into milk knows that it does not mix well, and that milk scorches so easily that hot cocoa recipes often call for a double boiler -- in other words, making cocoa can be a lot of work. Food manufacturers use various dried milk products and add things to disperse, dissolve, and suspend the particles of cocoa and milk without having to cook it.
Unfortunately, the next step is to add more additives to hide the flavor of the first additives, and to try to make dried milk taste like fresh, and to prolong the shelf life. With more additives and modifications to the basic ingredients, it's even possible to design products that meet certain label requirements (such as fat-free). Unfortunately, these products rarely taste much like the real thing.
Now that so many people have forgotten (or never learned) how to make the real thing, there is a market for premium mixes, where people get to pay premium prices to buy mixtures of the very same ingredients that once were used at home. But it isn't necessary, because you can make this delicious easy-to-use hot cocoa mix at home, if you use ThickenThin not/Sugar thickener to replace the both the texture of sugar and its role in dispersing and suspending cocoa in solution.
I make the mix two ways, one a basic non-dairy version either to drink "black" (it's pretty good, and very low calorie) or with fresh cream or coconut milk. The other is a more-complete mix for away from-the-refrigerator occasions.
Here's my favorite basic blend for adding fresh cream and sweetener at serving time:
Combine equal volumes of ThickenThin not/Sugar thickener, cocoa (my fave is Hershey's European-style), and a pinch of salt or substitute. Stir until the color is uniform and to break down any lumps from the cocoa.
For the complete mix: Combine equal volumes of the cocoa mix above and ExpertExtras RealCream dry dairy cream. Stir until any lumps from the RealCream are gone, or push it through a strainer or sieve. Add sweetener, if you like (if you make a large-enough batch, this is the perfect place to use pure sweetener). If you have a lowcarb dry vanilla, use it here. (and, please, Please, PLEASE! tell me about it because I'm looking for one that isn't dried on sugar or maltodextrins).
Use approximately one tablespoon of the basic mix or two tablespoons of the complete mix per cup. Just place in a cup, stir in enough water (temperature doesn't matter) to make a paste, making sure to wet the powder thoroughly Stir in very hot water to fill the cup. For the basic mix: sweeten and add cream to taste.
Note: This blend is thick and has a relatively-mild chocolate flavor to suit this milk-chocoholic. Feel free to adjust the proportions to YOUR taste. You can use any brand of cocoa -- however, it's best to choose a cocoa that will continue to be available, so you don't have to redevelop your recipes. I happen to prefer Dutch-processed (alkali-treated) cocoa because it is darker and less-bitter than the standard American kind, but YTB (taste buds) MV.
Also, try it with coffee in place of part of the water and/or vanilla or other extract, or coffee flavoring, syrup, etc.
ThickenThin not/Sugar thickener has no bioavailable carbs, so all the digestible carbs in the basic mix come from the cocoa. That's less than a gram per serving for most cocoas. using Hershey's European-style cocoa, it has approximately 0.6g bioavailable carbs (3.3g total carb of which 2.7g are fiber) per one-tablespoon serving, before adding cream and sweetener.
The complete mix (Hershey's European-style cocoa, RealCream, and a no-carb sweetener) has approximately 1.8g bioavailable carbs per cup (4.5g total carb of which 2.7g are fiber) per two-tablespoon serving.