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European Hot ChocolateEuropean-style hot chocolate means melting shavings, beads or disks of actual chocolate and adding boiling water or milk. That’s what you do with Recchiuti Dark Hot Chocolate Pure Chocolate Pistoles, one of the favorites you’ll read about.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

STEPHANIE ZONIS is a contributing editor.

 

 

December 2006
Updated January 2009

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Beverages

 

Some Like It Hot: Cocoa & Hot Chocolate ~ Part 2

Page 9: Gourmet Hot Cocoa Brands F~L

 

This is Page 9 of a 10-page review of hot chocolate and cocoa brands. Click on the black links below to visit other pages.

 

Hot Chocolate Brands F To L

 

Fiori Chocolatiers Drinking Chocolate (70% Cacao). The slight thickness of this Fiori Drinking Chocolatebeverage is achieved via the simple expedient of using a large quantity of mix to a small amount of milk, but once you try it, that won’t matter. A very dark milky cocoa brown color and a deep chocolate aroma presage a strong bittersweet chocolate taste with a definite “red fruits” element. Although there appears to be some undissolved mix in the mug and on the spoon, the beverage has a smooth mouthfeel. A favorite. First ingredient: cocoa. Entire ingredient list: cocoa, sugar, cocoa butter, milk powder, vanilla, soy lecithin. Sodium content: not listed. Price: $15.00 for 8 ounces. Read our full review of Fiori Chocolatiers.

Fran’s Premium Hot Chocolate, Richer Darker Blend. A dark cocoa color with a moderately chocolate aroma. A definitive “hit” of bittersweet flavor in a chocolate beverage that seems thicker than it is, probably due to richness. Some undissolved flecks of chocolate, but not distinguishable on tongue. First and only ingredient: dark chocolate. Sodium content: 0 mg/serving. Price: $12.50 for 9 ounces.

Garrison Ultimate Hot Chocolate (Regular). A semisweet hot chocolate with decent chocolate flavor. Some undissolved flecks and chunks of chocolate in end product. Not too sweet. First ingredient: chocolate. Entire ingredient list: chocolate, cocoa powder processed with potassium carbonate). Sodium content: 160 mg/serving. Price: $15.00 for 16 ounces.

Green & Black’s Organic Hot Chocolate Drink. A lighter milky brown beverage, with almost no aroma. Very faint, flat chocolate taste. Not sweet, with very little flavor. First ingredient: organic raw cane sugar. Entire ingredient list: organic raw cane sugar, organic fat-reduced cocoa powder, organic dark chocolate. Sodium content: 8 mg/serving. Price: $6.95 for 5.3 ounces.

Hot Chocolate Sparrow Hot Chocolate. This is a café in Massachusetts that sells a hot chocolate mix of ground sweetened Merckens chocolate, the same product they use to make their own hot fudge sauce. A medium cocoa brown color with a nicely chocolatey aroma. Not too sweet, but genuinely tastes like chocolate, as well—very good balance of tastes. No information on ingredients or sodium content available on package or website. Instructions call for adding 2 tablespoons of mix to “hot milk”; no quantity is given, so six ounces of hot milk was used. No e-commerce: call number on website for mail order. Price: $4.95 for 16 ounces.

The King’s Cupboard Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chunk Hot Chocolate. A medium-dark milky brown color with a nicely chocolatey aroma. Decent chocolate taste but too much sweetness comes on afterward. Despite stirring for at least two minutes once mix was added to hot milk, heating mixture again briefly, then stirring again, there was a large amount of undissolved mix when hot chocolate was poured into serving cup. Most of the undissolved chocolate flecks that float to the top surface do not register on the tongue. First ingredient: ground chocolate. Entire ingredient list: ground chocolate, chocolate chunks, cocoa. Sodium: 0 mg/serving.  A sugar-free version is available which is much less sweet. Price: $7.95 for 16 ounces. Read our full review of The King’s Cupboard Chocolate Sauces, a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week.

Lake Champlain All Natural New World Drinking Chocolate. Another preparation dependent upon a large amount of mix to the amount of milk used. With the consistency of a thin béchamel sauce, this hot chocolate is of a moderate dark chocolate color and the aroma is strongly chocolate, with a “red fruits” element. Significant amount of undissolved mix in end product, though it barely affected the beverage’s smooth texture. Intensely bittersweet, with a coffee-like accent. Not for the timid palate, but fine for lovers of very strong tastes. First and only ingredient: dark chocolate. Sodium content: 65 mg/serving. Price: $12.00 for 12 ounces. Read our full review of Lake Champlain Chocolate.

Lake Champlain All Natural Old World Drinking Chocolate. A medium brown Lake Champlain Drinking Chocolatecolor with a modestly chocolate aroma, this beverage has a nice semisweet flavor. There were a good many undissolved chocolate flecks, but these were undetectable on the tongue. The “mix” consists of small shavings and curls of dark chocolate; if you ever get tired of this as a hot chocolate, you can use it to decorate a frosted cake, or do as I did and just eat some of the curls by themselves. A favorite. First and only ingredient: dark chocolate. Sodium content: 10 mg/serving. Price: $12.00 for 9.5 ounces.

Lake Champlain Organic Fair Trade Hot Chocolate. Beverage is a medium cocoa brown with a mildly chocolate aroma. Despite a relatively small amount of mix added to one cup of milk here, this is a very pleasant hot cocoa. A nice balance of good chocolate flavor and sweetness. First ingredient: naturally milled organic cane sugar. Entire ingredient list: naturally milled organic cane sugar, organic alkalized cocoa powder. Sodium content: 0 mg/serving. Price: $9.00 for 16 ounces.

Lake Champlain Traditional Hot Chocolate. First ingredient: evaporated cane juice. Entire ingredient list: evaporated cane juice, Dutched cocoa, vanilla. Sodium content: 0 mg/serving. A faint chocolate aroma and dark milky brown color. Mild but pleasant chocolate flavor. Price: $8.00 for 16 ounces.

La Maison du Chocolat La Tasse de Chocolat. A beverage with almost no aroma, of a darker milky brown color. Bittersweet flavor, good but not special. The glazed mini-spheres of chocolate that make up this “mix” are pretty and shiny, but they become almost slimy-looking while they melt, though they melt completely and there’s no trace of an off texture in the finished product. Fairly complicated instructions end with: “For best results, let the hot chocolate cool slowly and when ready to serve, reheat the chocolate mixture without boiling it.” Who’s going to do this? (EDITOR’S NOTE: The answer is the staff at their New York City shops, who prepare the hot chocolate for you.) First ingredient: cocoa mass (64% minimum cocoa solids). Entire ingredient list: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, “glazing agents” (maltodextrin and gum lac), soya lecithin, natural vanilla extract. Sodium content: 5 mg/serving. Price: $14.00 for 7.5 ounces.

Lindt Hot Cocoa Hot Chocolate Mix. A darker milky brown color with a mildly chocolate aroma. Not all powder dissolved, though most did. Pleasant and not too sweet, with some chocolate flavor. First ingredient: sugar. Also contains vanillin, in addition to other ingredients. Sodium content: 55 mg/serving. $0.99 per 1-ounce packet, makes one cup. No e-commerce: purchase at Lindt stores. Read our full review of Lindt Chocolate.

Continue To Page 10: Hot Chocolate Brands Beginning With M To Z

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