Saturday, December 29, 2012

Hot Chocolate vs Cocoa (Single Servings)

Know what the difference is between hot chocolate and cocoa?
I never really gave it much thought until just the other day. Sue and I got into a debate about what the chocolatey deliciousness is really called.
She called it hot chocolate, I called it cocoa.
Turns out we were both right.
Hot chocolate and cocoa are two different things. Kind of.
They both result in an amazing, smooth, chocolate drink but they get there using different ingredients. As the names would suggest, one uses chocolate and one uses cocoa powder.
I decided to try and make single servings of each to see how different they really were.
Oh, yeah, I know the pinch of salt may seem odd in these but don't leave it out. It helps bring out the chocolate flavor.
Single Serving Hot Chocolate
1 cup whole milk
3 Tbsp chocolate chips
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 tsp powdered sugar
pinch salt
Heat milk in a saucepan. Stir in chocolate chips until smooth, Whisk in vanilla, sugar, and salt. Heat to desired temperature - do not boil.
The milk pan is the hot chocolate - the pan with the whisk is the cocoa.
Single Serving Cocoa
1 Tbsp baking cocoa
1 Tbsp brown sugar
pinch salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup water
2/3 cup 1% milk
In a small saucepan, stir together cocoa, sugar, and salt. Slowly stir in vanilla and water. Heat over medium heat until mixture boils. Reduce heat to medium/low and slow boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add in milk and heat to desired temperature. Do not boil once milk has been added.
The whipped cream topped cup is the hot chocolate. The marshmallow topped cup is the cocoa.
They looked almost exactly the same except that the hot chocolate version was a little foamier and a little creamier.
Which one did I like better?
They were both really good. The hot chocolate was definitely sweeter than the cocoa. Almost too sweet - if there is such a thing.
I think, if I HAD to choose - my pick would be the cocoa. I really liked it.
In case you try both and can't decide, the nutritional info might help break the tie.
HOT CHOCOLATE - 375 calories, 13.8 fat, 46 carbs, 16.5 protein
COCOA - 150 calories, 2.3 fat, 29 carbs, 6.5 protein.
The cocoa is less than half the calories and waaaaay less fat. Crazy! It still tastes very chocolatey - side by side with the hot chocolate it seemed a little weak BUT when made on its own I found it very chocolatey and satisfying.
You could, of course, use whole milk to make the cocoa as well. I decided to use water and 1% milk to lower the calories and fat and to see if it would affect the flavor.
I didn't think it did.

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