Cooking is not one of the things that engages me, generally. I don’t dislike it; I’d just rather spend my limited free time doing other things. Yet the past two nights, I’ve made hot chocolate from scratch, working on perfecting a recipe that tastes good, has a nice mouth feel, and doesn’t contain any white sugar. I don’t drink hot chocolate often; it’s an indulgence, and it would be much easier to just indulge at work, where I can push a button on the fancy coffee machine and fill my cup in under a minute. I don’t know what’s in that stuff exactly, though it definitely tastes like a lot of sugar, and I’m trying to reduce added sugar in my diet, thus the homemade hot chocolate. I still need to work on it, but tonight’s attempt was pretty good. I put a quarter cup of dark cocoa powder (100% cacao) and a half cup heavy cream in a saucepan with a pinch (or maybe it was a dash; like I said, I’m not that into cooking) of salt and cooked that (stirring constantly) over not quite medium heat until the cocoa and cream mixed to form what looked like a thicker, darker version of Hershey’s syrup. Then I added a cup and a half of soy milk and a quarter teaspoon of vanilla, turned the heat up to medium, and kept cooking until it seemed warm enough. I poured it into two mugs, then Mr. Karen and I put drops of stevia in to sweeten (I used three, he did two). He thinks it needed more vanilla, and I thought it could be sweeter, but on the whole, I’m calling it a success. It definitely was better than last night’s effort, which had less cream to start and some solid baking chocolate in addition to the cocoa powder—that formed a choco-ball in the pan and it looked very much like I was going to end up with some sort of candy instead of a beverage.
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