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Heavy chocolate

by on January 23, 2010

Why is it that the majority of chocolate applications, solid or liquid, are heavy? I mean: “Death by Chocolate”? Can’t we have something that is refreshing and chocolatey?

I tried to solve this dilemma the other day. I wanted something wonderfully light, yet chocolatey. How do you lighten chocolate? It contains large amounts of fat (good-for-you cocoa butter, mind you, but still fat), which makes it heavy. Mousses are ok, but as light as you can get them, they still have the fat which provides the feeling of fullness. — As I’m writing this, I’m thinking that chocolate meringues made with dark cocoa might work well — As odd as it sounds, I ended up with tea!

Instead of brewing a normal pot of tea (it was cold outside at the time – Right now it is warm and humid), I put 2T of dutch process cocoa powder in my tea pot basket, along with a few pieces of dried ginger, ceylon cinnamon, and a crushed up pod of green cardamom. I poured boiling water in the top, just like brewing real tea, and let the mixture brew for about ten minutes. (Why not use milk, you ask, instead of the water? Well, milk has weight and a heavier mouth-feel than water. Plus, if I used milk, all I would have been making was spiced hot chocolate!) After it was done brewing, I poured it in a demitasse chocolate cup (yes, they used to make small cups just for drinking chocolate! I have a set from a great aunt; why let it sit in the cabinet and gather dust. I figured I might as well use it. It made the whole process more fun anyway!).

The taste was great, cocoa and subtle spices were all that I tasted. No heavy texture from fat coatng my tongue. The spices (and use of the demitasse cup) made it perfect for sipping, yet it did not linger long. You took a sip, reveled in the flavor, and then it was gone. The process certainly wasn’t perfect: it left a stain in my tea pot which I had to scrub out, the cocoa settle to the bottom of the pot or cup if left for very long, and it still needs a little work. Maybe a bit of xanthan gum, or such would thicken it slightly while  keeping the mouth-feel light. The other avenue to pursue is to brew it, then chill it and try it cold – that sounds like a variation on chocolate milk to me!

  1. Isaac permalink

    I concur. I am also getting tired of so many heavy chocolate desserts, especially considering that I am a pastry chef now. The customers want chocolate chocolate chip ice cream, flourless chocolate cake, chocolate mousse, molten chocolate cake. I’m getting to where I don’t even want to taste these things anymore to make sure they’re right. It feels like they sit on my stomach for hours.

    And if you want chocolate water deliciosity, I did a chocolate consomme in Wales using gelatin freezing clarification. I can dig out a recipe if you would like, but my method was extraordinarily expensive, utilizing large amounts of Valrhona chocolate. You’d be better off starting with a blank slate.

  2. Two thumbs up! Mother and I just made a small pot (owl-shaped, of course!) with cocoa, A-grade Korintje Cassia cinnamon, and cayenne pepper! The result is light, spicy, sweet and satisfyingly chocolatey.

  3. John P permalink

    If you are looking for something a bit more solid an chocolaty, I suggest looking to Nestle’s greatest success in in the United Kingdom: the Aero bar. It has an incredibly light texture and melts in the mouth due to the high level of cocoa butter present.

    • najarvis permalink

      Yes, I will have to look for that. Although I was really thinking about something light in the sense of no weight on the tongue. And I’m afraid that the cocoa butter would provide that heavier, richer mouthfeel that I was trying to avoid. (although that is what you want in most things for sure!)

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