[Sca-cooks] A couple of things, perhaps of interest... OOP

silverr0se at aol.com silverr0se at aol.com
Wed Feb 6 08:31:14 PST 2008

A lot of America's Test Kitchen choclate recipes call for instant coofe powder - sometime espresso and somtimes regular coffee. They say it intensifies the chocolate flavor.


Sent: Sat, 2 Feb 2008 3:09 pm
Subject: [Sca-cooks] A couple of things, perhaps of interest... OOP

Been meaning to pass this information along, for those who are interested.

First, as I've mentioned a couple times, I like curries, and make my
own as often as I can. I'm usually stopped by not having any coconut
milk, that being something that Margali has issues with, and therefore
is often forgotten on the shopping list. But, today they went out to
check out an interesting Thai restaurant I'd heard about on a mundane
List, which happens to be right next to an Indian grocery. One of the
items they brought back was coconut milk powder, which I think I'm
going to try. Of interest to those of you watching your cholesterol,
is that apparently the drying process retains the flavor, but has
managed to get rid of the annoying fats. I'll be very interested in
trying it- dehydrating food has come a long way, from when I was a kid

Also, along those lines, is that there are now instant varieties of
Indian foods available, basicly heat-n-eat, in foil packets. I had
discovered them at a local discount-type chain, and thought I'd try
them, as something quick and easy and tasty for going to camping
events, and discovered both brands, of the flavors I've tried, are
very tasty. I was telling my Mom about them, and she wanted to try
them, so rather than try to ship some down to her, I contacted one of
the companies, in order to ask where they might be in her area (I'm in
Connecticut, she's in North Carolina, and the discount store is very
local- called Ocean State Job Lots). After a couple of pleasant emails
with their distributor here in the US, not only did I find a couple
places where she might buy them, down there, but the distributor has
put me on his list of people to send samples to, whenever they want to
market a new variety ;-) And, most of the varieties are vegetarian,
for those of you who are interested. Fair warning, though- if the
package says the food is hot, believe it ;-) Companies are "MTR" and
"Truly Indian" and the packets are about $2 for enough to serve one or
two people over rice as a good meal.

And, I've pretty well perfected my chocolate sauce recipe, for those
who have an interest ;-) As I've mentioned before, when something
piques my interest, as far as food goes, I tend to take a basic ricipe
and work with it repeatedly, until I get it to what I think is the
ultimate in good flavor for its type. I've been doing that with
chocolate sauce, served over coffee ice cream, and I'l describe my
steps, so you can see where I started and where I wound up.

The original recipe, scrounged from a Hershey's Cocoa can was:

1 cup cocoa
1 cup sugar
2 cups water
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix all ingredients, bring to a boil for a couple minutes, cool, and
serve over ice cream.

While this is good, it just didn't have the taste and texture I
wanted, so I started playing with it a bit. Since I was serving it
over coffee ice cream, my first change was to substitute an equal
quantity of (decaf) coffee for the water. This improved the flavor a
bit, but not quite what I wanted, so I got the idea of adding a dollop
of butter to the mix- and discovered that if I cooked it and stirred
it for about 10 minutes, it gave it a thicker texture (when I
discussed it with you guys, Johnna and Adamantius). But, I also
discovered that on those occasions when the butter didn't dissolve
quite right, I wound up with little beads of grease in the mix- not
what I was looking for.

On another, mundane, List I'm subscribed to, a lady (a diabetic) gave
her recipe, which was the same as above, but used 2 cups of sugar-
and, when I tried it, I discovered that the extra sugar thinned the
chocolate flavor too much.

Then came a day when R&M went shopping independently, and both of them
came home with heavy cream, so we really had too much to use up as
soon as we should. I tried that instead of one of the cups of coffee,
and it was wonderful ;-) I also ran out of vanilla at one poinbt, and
discovered the lack had no significant effect on the flavor, so, what
I consider my ultimate chocolate sauce recipe follows:

1 cup cocoa
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup coffee
1 cup cream/milk/half-n-half
1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)

Mix up the dry ingedients in your pan, before you put it on the heat-
makes for fewer lumps. Add the liquids, stirring a bit, and place on a
moderate burner- 3-4 on my electric stove. Let it heat, stirring
occasionally to break up lumps (I use a slotted spoon) until it comes
to a slow boil. I let it plop and mumble for about 10 minutes- seems
to give it a smoother texture- again, stirring occasionally, to
prevent it from boiling over. Cool and serve over your favorite ice
cream, or a neutral cake-type item- pound cake is good.

You can use any milk you choose, from whole milk to heavy cream- the
difference shows up in the thickness of the sauce. Haven't tried any
of the skim milks- we don't have it in the house ;-) And, it works
fine with any of the dutch-style cocoas I've tried, my favorite being
Ghiradelli, but that isn't always easy to find.

Enjoy ;-)

Saint Phlip

Heat it up
Hit it hard
Repent as necessary.


It's the smith who makes the tools, not the tools which make the smith.

.I never wanted to see anybody die, but there are a few obituary
notices I have read with pleasure. -Clarence Darrow
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