Hot chocolate has its origins in Central America and was then carried to Europe in the mid-17th century where it joined the ranks of popularity among tea and coffee. Hot chocolate then became the drink of choice over ale, beer and hard ciders of the day when it traveled to America. The drink first showed up in Spanish Florida and then slowly moved its way up to New England and the Mid-Atlantic regions of America.
Hot Chocolate Pots with Wheels
Although hot chocolate was used for medicinal purposes during this time, it was primarily enjoyed as a special treat during the day. There was a great deal of time that went into preparation of hot chocolate. Today’s hot chocolate where the package is torn open or a tin opened was not an option. The ingredients for hot chocolate during the 1800s included milk, eggs, white-wine, rosewater, mace, cinnamon, sugar, and of course, chocolate.
Ibarra Chocolate Cake
The entire process was also quite time consuming. The chocolate of the day came in prepared chocolate cakes (similar to the Ibarra chocolate today). A portion of the chocolate had to be scraped fine, added to water and simmered for 15 minutes. The beverage then had to be milled to make sure it was smooth. The mixture was put into a chocolate pot that had a wheel inside which was usually made of wood or metal. The wheel was propelled by hand to blend the chocolate and water together (something we know chocolate doesn’t like to do). After the hot chocolate goes through this milling process, it must be heated again, and then milled a second time. For the hot chocolate to be made properly, there should be no pieces of chocolate sediment, and it should be smooth and blended. Cream and sugar may be added prior to the milling process, but most often added once the process is completed.
Walter Baker’s Cocoa
To follow are some chocolate and cocoa recipes from By Miss Parloa and Home Made Candy Recipes By Mrs. Janet McKenzie Hill. The cocoa for the recipes was furnished by Walter Baker & Co., Ltd. of Dorchester, Massachusetts and published in 1780.
Walter Baker & Co.’s Breakfast Cocoa is powdered so fine that it can be dissolved by pouring boiling water on it. For this reason it is often prepared at the table. A small teaspoonful of the powder is put in the cup with a teaspoonful of sugar; on this is poured two-thirds of a cup of boiling water, and milk or cream is added to suit the individual taste. This is very convenient; but cocoa is not nearly so good when prepared in this manner as when it is boiled.
For six cupfuls of cocoa use two tablespoonfuls of the powder, two tablespoonfuls of sugar, half a pint of boiling water, and a pint and a half of milk. Put the milk on the stove in the double-boiler. Put the cocoa and sugar in a saucepan, and gradually pour the hot water upon them, stirring all the time. Place the saucepan on the fire and stir until the contents boil. Let this mixture boil for five minutes; then add the boiling milk and serve. A gill of cream is a great addition to this cocoa.
Scalded milk may be used in place of boiled milk, if preferred. For flavoring, a few grains of salt and half a teaspoonful of vanilla extract may be added.
Formula for Making Three Gallons of Breakfast Cocoa
½ pound of Walter Baker & Co.’s Cocoa
1 ½ gallons of water, hot
1 ½ gallons of milk, hot
This should not be allowed to boil. Either make it in a large double-boiler, or a large saucepan or kettle over water. Mix the cocoa with enough cold water to make a paste, and be sure it is free from lumps. Heat together the milk and water, and pour in the cocoa; then cook at least an hour, stirring occasionally.
To one-third a cup of Baker’s Cracked Cocoa (sometimes called “Cocoa Nibs”) use three cups of cold water; cook slowly at least one hour—the longer the better. Then strain the liquid and add one cup (or more if desired) of milk, and serve very hot. Do not allow the mixture to boil after milk has been added.
Vanilla Chocolate with Whipped Cream
One cake (½ a pound) of Walter Baker & Co.’s Vanilla Sweet Chocolate
4 cups of boiling water
Pinch of salt
4 cups of hot milk
This must be made in a double-boiler. Put the chocolate, boiling water and salt in upper part of the double-boiler. Stir and beat with a wooden spoon until the chocolate is dissolved and smooth. Add the milk and when thoroughly hot, strain, and serve with unsweetened whipped cream. More cooking will improve it.
Hot Chocolate with Whipped Cream
1 ounce or square of Baker’s Premium Chocolate,
3 tablespoonfuls of sugar,
1/8 a teaspoonful of salt,
1 pint of boiling water,
1 pint of milk.
Place the chocolate, sugar and salt in the agate chocolate-pot or saucepan, add the boiling water and boil three minutes, stirring once or twice, as the chocolate is not grated. Add the milk and allow it time to heat, being careful not to boil the milk, and keep it closely covered, as this prevents the scum from forming. When ready to serve turn in chocolate-pitcher and beat with Dover egg-beater until light and foamy.
Hot Chocolate with a Side of Whipped Cream
Now go take some time to make yourself some real hot chocolate!